Back in April, Arum Rae hit the scene with her debut EP Warranted Queen, which has since met much critical acclaim. The five-song EP gives us a good dose of experimentation with moody sounds from her smoky vocals to the perky electronic drum track that is prevalent on most of her songs. Her eclectic sound doesn’t shy away from the power of soul, and her new track drips with the kind that makes you feel like she’s sucking out your own.
“Gold” is all about voice; the bluesy, barebones backdrop allows Arum Rae to expose herself vocally more than ever before. Invoking a rather creepy soundscape, the song crescendos into a distortion battle between Rae and her guitar, and in the end, her warble wins. By the song’s end, we are left with a feeling of awe and emptiness, as she ekes out her final whispered lines over a rumble of receding reverb.
The video for this track plops us right in the middle of a gray, vast wilderness, faced with braving a world unknown and more terrifying than you can imagine. Stark images of unforgiving cold and vicious canines on the prowl mimic the lone-wolf aesthetic of Arum Rae’s impassioned howls. There aren’t enough gray tones in the world to convey the darkness of this video, but Director Philippe Leonard successfully uses grainy black and white film to achieve its ominous appeal. The ambiguity of certain scenes gives the video a sense of foreboding reminiscent of a horror film shot on 16mm, delivering us in a harrowing landscape that allows the song to ring deeply within the soul. When it all ends, you feel stranded, spent, emptied out – and renewed.
“Gold” captures the essence of Arum Rae’s stunning vocal abilities. She’s currently working on an album to be released later this year, and if this single is any indication of what is to come, we are certainly in for a treat.