On her 2013 album Discipline & Desire, Wax Idols’ Hether Fortune showed an aggressive interest in power dynamics. Written in the wake of her divorce, her upcoming third album American Tragic continues this exploration, honing in on the corruptible nature of power and the destabilizing effects incurred when it’s taken away. While she sorts through personal grief on her first single “Lonely You”, her latest single “Deborah” looks at what happens when emotional power on a larger scale is leached from marginalized groups.
Fortune explains, “This song is a big ‘fuck you’ to people who capitalize on the vulnerability of others and, more specifically, to straight cis men who take advantage of women and queer culture by posing as “one of us” and then consuming our identities & ideas in order to make themselves seem more interesting.”
There’s a hint of mocking disdain in Fortune’s calm, hardened voice as she sings, “A chariot in white / You came to me / On a cloud”. The hooks on this song are catchy, while the production underscores the gothy postpunk nature of the distorted guitars and Fortune’s voice. In the chorus, she sings, “I can’t wait until I forget you exist / And dream of nothing because it feels that way” and towards the end, she repeatedly cries out the name “Deborah”. It sounds like she’s casting a spell to vanquish her enemies that just might work.
American Tragic comes out October 16th on Collect Records.