Someone we trust hurting us emotionally is never a fun experience. You have a close relationship with the person, so to have them wound you so deeply can be worse than physical bumps and bruises. At the same time, people with a high level of empathy can sometimes see that maybe something was hurting the other person that caused them to lash out. To be clear, that doesn’t make what that person did right, but it can explain some things. Grappling with that swirl of hurt and understanding is the focus of LA band Culprit‘s 2017 track “Contempathy,” found on their EP Sonder from the same year. Today the band have released a gorgeous lyric video to accompany “Contempahty,” and Substream has the premiere for you.
The video for “Contempathy” was animated by LAZERSLAB (Jimmy Poirier), and he did an incredible job doing it. The video begins serenely–like the relationship vocalist Travis Powell is describing in the song. A woman is lying in a flower-filled meadow as the lyrics appear to be drawn on the screen. As the song continues and the emotional damage in Powell’s voice grows, the video takes a darker turn. The sunny sky darkens into an ominous red and then fades to pitch black, and large rose vines begin to slither their way towards the woman. While the roses are beautiful, the vines begin to ensnare the woman, visibly causing distress. Poirier not only did a great job technically for the video, but also in matching the emotional beats and moments in “Contempathy.”
Powell explained the roiling emotions of the track by saying ““Writing Contempathy was my means of getting closure after ending a long relationship. It was such a toxic situation, and I was so confused I didn’t know which way was up. That’s kind of why the lyrics are a bit all over the place, both feeling contempt for this person for being so ugly towards me, but also being empathetic to their position – hence, ‘Contempathy.’”
You can watch the lyric video for Culprit’s “Contempathy” below.