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Katy Perry explains new album 'Prism' and writing about her divorce from Russell Brand -- EXCLUSIVE

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Katy Perry’s new album Prism (out 10/22; read EW critic Nick Catucci’s take here) is full of the bouncy, joyous pop tunes that she’s known for. But perhaps the most surprising aspect is her bluntness when writing about her 2012 divorce from Russell Brand in the poignant-but-hopeful closing track “By the Grace of God.” In it, Perry sings that post-break-up she could be found on her bathroom floor crying.

“Well, imagine what you go through,” she tells EW. “Imagine what happens when you go through a break up. We all go through break ups and we all get very depressed and desperate. The lyrics are very exact and autobiographical. That’s how I write. But the one thing about those lyrics is you can hear me finding my strength throughout the song. It starts off really low and then I kind of stand up for myself and say, ‘No!’”

Perry adds: “Sometimes you look in the mirror when you’re crying and if you look in the mirror it will make you cry more because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. And then sometimes you look in the mirror and you cry and I’ve been like: ‘Snap out of it! It’s time to — come on — grow up! No!’ There’s almost like this inner warfare that comes out, this inner battle between the good angel and the bad devil.”

Perry, who says her recent single “Unconditionally” was partially influenced by current boyfriend John Mayer, specifies that “By the Grace of God” is the lone track from Prism specifically about her relationship with Brand. “All the other songs are stories from different times in my life,” she says. “It’s people making assumptions. It’s kind of hard because I am so vulnerable and I am [such an] open book, but I don’t feel like I want to hand over a specific story about each and every song. I don’t feel like I want every song to come with a little package, a little tabloid-al package because it’s like, ‘Why don’t you let the song be a little unspecific to the listener? Then the listener can use it and relate to it in their own way. So, not every song comes up with an excerpt. They’re biographical but all you’re going to get in the songs is just that.”

For much more from Katy Perry, look for EW’s intimate all-access profile of the star on newsstands Nov. 1.

Katy Perry smacks Prince Charming (a.k.a. Russell Brand) in 'Wide Awake' video -- WATCH

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Katy Perry’s latest single, “Wide Awake,” is certainly a pop delight, even if its lyrics are fairly generic (“I’m wide awake/And now it’s clear to me/That everything you see/Ain’t always what it seems”).

But Perry claims the video for the song — which she’s using to promote her 3-D movie, Part of Me — is nothing short of autobiographical and explains the journey she’s been on for the last two years.

“It’s kind of like the labyrinth of my life in the last two years,” Perry said during an MTV First presentation, where she sat down with MTV’s Sway to discuss the clip. “I just wanted to tell a story about myself kind of going through this journey, maybe sometimes trying to get out of the maze. There’s good parts, there’s bad parts, and the whole time there’s the younger version of me leading me through.”

Naturally, Perry referenced the struggle that’s outlined in “Wide Awake” and alluded to the fact — but didn’t explicitly say — that much of the song describes her feelings about her recent divorce from comedian Russell Brand. “Of course there’s been a lot of things that went on last year that I had to get through and overcome and obstacles that I had to, you know, go through,” Perry explained. “I think what kept me going is just, like, the purity of my belief in music and my love for music.”

Whether or not you buy into the platitudes that Perry is selling — sure, she’s had a rough year, and a divorce is a disaster for anyone — the video for “Wide Awake” seems to be just what her fans might want from her at this point in time. There’s a fantastical, whimsical vibe to it that finds Perry teaming up with her own self as a child.

The clip launches with a snippet from the shoot for her “California Gurls” and ends with the concert tour, book-ending the two crazy years she’s spent promoting her blockbuster album Teenage Dream. There’s a genius moment where the princess-like Perry emerges from darkness to find Prince Charming — and promptly smacks him.

The only thing that would have made the moment better was if the guy had looked a little bit more like Russell Brand. Check it out yourself below:

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