Post Purging Reflection was inspired by a loved one's battle with anorexia. Her disposition lead her into a bout of drug abuse, and she had soon reached such a severe state that she was hospitalized from developing heart conditions; problems that will last her a lifetime. It was a sick sense of irony that her heart almost gave out because I believed she actually had so much "heart". She had ambitions. She was hard working. She had fierce intelligence. But in her mind, it didn't matter; she hated herself. -Hated her body.
I loved her. In her mind, her body was a prison for what seemed like a powerful soul that waited inside and I wished I could have taken away her pain so badly. In my ostensible helplessness, the only thing I found I could do was to be a friend and support her, listen to her, and write this song with her in mind, and like so many others, for those who fight for what's inside instead of this flesh machine prison and this idea that Capitalism sells to you and I saying that we'll never be good enough. "The times we struggle together are the times we're the strongest."
Discussing possible visual accompaniments to Despite Despair’s music, Derek Ballard and Brighton Carper Ballard were instantly inspired by the blistering eulogy to disordered body image, Post Purging Reflection. Ultimately, many of the themes and images they discussed would be translated into the video with the help of Nighttimer Productions, the independent film production group to which Brighton belongs.
Members of the band met with Nighttimer to begin the collaborative process a few months before filming. The inspiration behind the song, possible visual elements, and the end goal became a shared vision. It was at this time that the palindromic effect of the video--- moving forward, and backward, through the space and the story--- took form, according to the nature of the song. Both parties had a strong desire to create a video that would be impactful. To achieve this, it was important that the visual element and the musical element fed off of each other. Balance within chaos.
Post Purging is a song that suggests mania. The immense collection of magazines, first static and looming in the space, then swirling torrentially around the members of the band, the narrow, claustrophobic hall of light and advertising, the frantically applied makeup. All of these images complement the panic in the music. Conversely, the reversal, makeup removing itself, glossy photos being destroyed by bubbling ink, bleach spots erasing from silk, echo the calm plea for help and recognition, and the cycle begins again.
Post Purging had a particularly acute message for Nighttimer. Being a group primarily consisting of women, every person could name someone who survives each day under this shroud. By choosing deliberate scenery and avoiding as much as possible the tired cliches, Nighttimer Productions presented Despite Despair with a video that would share in its respect and solidarity to those struggling with these issues.
released September 15, 2016