The big shock in Blonde Diamond’s video for “In the Dark” comes halfway through, and it’s literally of the totally-didn’t-see-that-coming variety.
Let’s not spoil things here. Instead, let’s just say if you’ve had—or are having—a rough time of it, Alexis Young can more than relate.
The Blonde Diamond singer describes the sweepingly atmospheric, dramatically lush “In the Dark” as the most important song she’s ever written. (Watch for the track on the band's debut album Magnetic Strangers, this fall).
For a good idea of the headspace she was in during the creative process, start with song lyrics like “I used to be alone at the back of the bus just my headphones and me/Obviously doctor you’ve never been a high school girl at seventeen.”
At the risk of stating the obvious, you’re not the only one who feels like, sometimes, it’s all too much. And Young makes that crystal clear with her Facebook backstory for “In the Dark”—a work of sonic art she memorably describes as a “sonic vomit of suppressed emotions”.
Her post, which you can read in full here, includes:
“I was 16 years old. I saw myself bullied, I saw myself feeling homophophic for being queer, I saw my family dissolve and devolve into a place where I was at the epicentre of an atomic bomb. This song means the most to me out of any song I’ve ever written. It’s the most threadbare, vulnerable reflection of a time in my life where I felt like I was more alone than what it means to be alone. I felt the dichotomy of feeling the pressure of trying to be grateful for what I had, but feeling like I was presented with intangible fragments that I couldn’t hold onto or grasp. The only moments when I felt connected to reality was when I was listening to music. Transporting myself to a plane where things made sense. Or watching films that genuinely represented the pain and banality of being 16 and growing up in the suburbs of Calgary. It was Broken Social Scene. It was the Virgin Suicides. I was just a teenager and I felt like I was already 100.”
“In the Dark” ends with the inspirational lines “But now it’s all gone, got my makeup on and I’m not going back/ Never go back/I’ll never be so small/So small again”.
The message of the both the song and the video then is as simple as it is powerful: if you can hang on through the darkness, the light will, hopefully, one day flood in.
Or, as Young puts it far more eloquently, “And at the end of it all, I hope a 16 year old hears this and feels like there’s something better out there. You’re not alone. And once you’re through, you don’t ever have to look back.”