BY MC GALANG
“The pain, their loss… it’s all I have left of them. You think the grief will make you smaller inside, like your heart will collapse in on itself, but it doesn’t. I feel spaces opening up inside of me like a building with rooms I’ve never explored.”
– Dolores Abernathy, Westworld
Pain weighs heavily on Dana Blaze’s “Drown,” the closing track to her debut EP, Revenge. It pulls her slowly, like an anchor sinking, then finally fastening her to the bottom of the sea. This surrender is her final act: tethered to her pain, left to dwell in perpetual darkness.
Throughout the course of Revenge, the singer-songwriter bared a complicated narrative palpable in its grief, leaving us with no consolation. We so badly want for her to survive, even at the cost of her trauma. Our desire for a reassuring conclusion eclipses what actually becomes of her, consumed by anger she’s held onto for so long. “Drown” rejects the notion that life or relationships had to hurt for it to be good, or to be beautiful.
Unlike so many gendered revenge tales, Dana’s did not compromise for nor settled on a tidy ending. Evan Rachel Wood’s character in Westworld self-actualized and reclaimed her story, her pain, and loss—and still, blood was spilt. There are no heroes and villains here, only collateral damage.