In its round-up of the best local music from 2017, the Baltimore Beat (R.I.P.) praised the second release from Pale Spring for singer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Wenker’s use of “dreams and nightmares, foggy moods, and gothic literature.” The video for “Proud of Your Poison” is a pretty good illustration of that.
The camera zooms in on a smoldering stack of goop, something that looks like an oil-slicked Mordor from “The Lord of the Rings,” in a smoky cave. Atop this formation is a white figure that looks a bit like the Virgin Mary.
Director Jeffrey Rettberg’s camera pans to find more of the figures in various poses on similar formations, and another in a diorama. As the sparse darkwave beat plays and Wenker sings, her voice is mirrored by a more morose version coming from a vocoder, and some of the figures become subsumed by the liquid. Others manage to cover everything in white.
It is an eerie, atmospheric accompaniment to the melancholic, glacial beauty of the song–which, Wenker writes by email, is about “losing friends to heroin addiction and the dichotomy of childlike irresponsibility/ the darkness, pain, and violence that that comes with.”
“I’ve had two good friends/past roommates die of heroin overdoses in the past four years. I think everyone knows someone who’s been affected by the opioid epidemic by now. I wish it wasn’t this way. I really miss my friends. I think about them all the time.”
Wenker says the figures are actually her, rendered by a 3-D printer. Watch the video below.