Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The games that people play with one another are very clear. They're always sly, sometimes deceptive. They're the most interesting when both people are playing similar games simultaneously, weaving new wrinkles into an old fabric that can only really turn one direction. The games are often cruel and self-serving, all the while maintaining an air of conviviality, while slinking toward strange ulterior motives that might not even be recognized. Oh, it's all a mess, always will be as long as people are unchained and aren't required to think logically or behave compassionately, unless it's mostly just good for them.
The people that come to us in Carolina Liar songs are familiar with both sides of the coin, when it comes to these psychological and emotional battles waged every day between people who just can't help themselves. They're in it for love, but more for the love that they can take, not the kind that they can give too freely. It's love that if they give it, there's no doubt that the conditions will be amended and there are going to be all kinds of unwritten provisions made.
Chad Wolf, the lead singer for the group that originated out of Charleston, South Carolina, features the wonderfully complicated dual nature of the lust sport in this brief session. With only enough time to tape two songs before loading back onto the bus to get to the next stop on the Kelly Clarkson/Pink tour that they were on, the band chose two songs that couldn't be any more different, while simply showing what's happening on both sides of the mirror.
With "King of Broken Hearts," from the group's latest full-length "Wild Blessed Freedom," Wolf sings, "I play this part over and over and over again/Baby I built this house just to burn it down/From the ashes I shall wear a crown/Cause I'm the king of broken hearts/And maybe this cross I bear is one I made/It's my choice baby, my mistake/Oh I'm the king of broken hearts." It's easy to see that, while feeling in control and powerful, no one won anything there. It's just a situation where the getting out part is slick and surgical. It's not meant to be revisited. It is standard procedure. Then, with "Beautiful People," from the same album, it's a bit of a moan about getting dumped on by the beautiful people of the world, left out in the rain without remorse. It's just another game that has no winner, just a conclusion.