By: Shayla Lee
“Everything I do in my music is with the intention of honesty, even if it is painful to do so,” explains LA-based musician PERISH, whose authenticity and beautiful music have pulled in listeners from around the world. With an openness to address issues not talked about enough like mental health, it’s not hard for PERISH’s raw and transparent music to resonate with you upon one listen.
Last month, PERISH released the first single off of her upcoming sophomore album, ‘Sad Girl’ and today she is premiering her music video exclusively on Femme Riot. The combination of beautiful art direction and powerful symbolism compliments the striking lyrics of the song itself. After watching the music video, it would be easy to assume that the production process would have taken months but PERISH explained that the music video for ‘Sad Girl’ came together in only two days.
“Josh Lockhart, who had directed my music video for Codes back in Nashville, had shot me a text that he’d be on this coast for about a day and that he really wanted to shoot something in the desert. Luckily, I had done production design and art department on a handful of movies out here, so I sort of let that side of my brain take control.”
The contrast between the barren landscape of the desert and the relationship between PERISH and her partner is engrossing and something that PERISH describes as intentional.
“I wanted to capture the essence of the relationship, where you had this beautiful thing that was trying to survive in a barren place. So I created this oasis of a bedroom in the middle of the desert, which ends up going in smoke, literally, while still fighting to walk away alive and together. The red scarf was the symbol of those fleeting highs we were chasing.”
As always with PERISH’s art, honesty is at the forefront of this music video, which allows others to connect on a deeper level.
“Everything I do in my music is with the intention of honesty, even if it is painful to do so. So I shot it with my ex. (We were still together at the time.) Shortly after we shot the video, we ended up pulling the plug on the relationship. So there has been a sting of releasing this but it’s quite powerful and bittersweet to see everything come full circle- how art imitates life, and then sometimes life imitates the art right back at you. But it was proof that great art is honest… and doesn’t care about your pride… and is always, ALWAYS, worth the pain.”
Watch the music video for ‘Sad Girl’ below!
PERISH breaks down the lyrics of ‘Sad Girl’
“You’re just a sad boy, I’m just a sad girl. Yeah I’m a sad girl, but it’s a sadder world.”
Sad Girl was one of those songs that just sort of poured out. I think I wrote the lyrics in about 10 minutes, which doesn’t happen often. I wrote it the morning after my birthday last August, very hungover, hence the crying on birthdays reference. And it was the realization that my relationship at the time was always chasing fleeting intense highs, surrounded by a steady stream of lows. We were both unhappy, not necessarily with each other, but with ourselves and the world.
“It’s oh so strange here getting older. Growing colder like your shoulder. No easy way for you to hold her, when she was made to leave.”
I was going through a serious depression phase since we had moved to LA a few months prior to that and my struggle with Bi-Polar disorder and anxiety reached a new level of destruction inside of myself. And it’s hard for you to truly love someone when you can’t find the good in anything. And it’s hard for someone to love that shell of you. Our new life in LA was tearing us both apart. Lesson: don’t move to LA, unless you can handle the insane stress of it.
“The parade has come and gone, dirty confetti on our burning lawn…”
So, we chased these high moments, but there’s always a comedown and Sad Girl was that very hard-hitting comedown.
“I’m a little bit fucked up, but so are you babe.”
You know, it’s easy to blame someone else for your own unhappiness when you’re not ready to truly look at yourself in the mirror. Sad Girl was my way of looking at myself and acknowledging that that.
Aside from the lyrics, Sad Girl was a big moment for me because it was the first time I produced my own track by myself. The weight of LA somehow pushed me to truly explore a deeper honesty in my music. I’d always been so fearful of being bad at it or standing alone with my heart on my hands in front of the world, and them not understanding it. But it was the most incredible feeling to say fuck it to that fear and I found strength in not having to depend on anyone. I think that by doing that, this new record is the most honest thing I’ve created. Even aside from the lyrics, it’s exactly what my soul sounds like, unfiltered rather than processed through someone else’s ears.