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Future Islands Unveil New Video For “Balance”

September 1, 2011
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The plot of the music video for the new Future Islands song, “Balance,” is fairly simple: two love-struck kids thumb rides with little more than a sign that reads “Beach.” But in the same way, say, the Smashing Pumpkins’ video for “1979” was able to capture the doldrums of being a teenager in suburbia, so too does this successfully manage to evoke a certain feeling–in this case, the feeling of being young and in love.

Nothing particularly extraordinary happens as they hitchhike their way to the ocean. We see our couple wait wearily by the side of the road. We see the boy playfully pushing the girl in a shopping cart. We see them go to a carnival and share funnel cake. We see them venture into the woods. And when they finally do make it to the beach, we see them streak toward the crashing waves, only to stop at that point where the water rushes over your feet, only to recede moments later. Those are the little moments that populate any relationship–the good stuff.

Director Jay Buim quickly cuts between these beautifully shot vignettes, hardly focusing on any one scene. It’s the sum of these moments that gives the video its evocative power. Still, there’s a little bit more beneath the surface. Our male lead is almost constantly sporting a toothy grin, enjoying every little bit of what’s going on. Yet it is not the same for his companion. She will show mutual affection at some points and seem removed at others. She sometimes looks distant, slightly unsure. And as you hear vocalist Sam Herring’s chorus of “It just takes time/ It just takes time/ A little trust and your time/ It can change your life” it becomes clear, in a subtle way, that the video functions as a fantastic companion piece to these emotions.

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