You can hear California in Tim Williams’ voice. So for those who happen to know a thing or two about surfing, his band’s name — Soft Swells — makes sense (it’s slang for baby waves). Hearing Soft Swells’ music, it makes even more sense. The term “surf rock” can bring to mind The Beach Boys or Link Wray, but there’s a lightness in Soft Swells’ harmony-drenched indie rock that feels more skin to another appropriately named act, Nada Surf. On Soft Swells’ recently released sophomore album, Floodlights, they complicated their sunny songs just a little. The LP’s title track is perfect example of that, and Flavorwire is pleased to premiere its music video below.
“Every time I listen to ‘Floodlights’ I feel like running,” the video’s director, George Sloan, tells Flavorwire. “Maybe it’s because the music and lyrics start on the first beat of the song. Maybe it’s because of the locomotive percussion, driving the music forward like a freight train. Or maybe it’s because the song is about a new, bursting love. I’m really not sure. I just know that it makes me want to run.”
“And that’s where the idea for the video came from. I kept picturing a guy and a girl trying to kiss for the first time, but instead they find themselves running for their lives. I was equally intrigued by the idea of a floodlight – a light whose sole purpose is to ‘flood’ an area, to make everything brighter, to reveal hidden details. And I thought those two opposing forces — a couple who’s trying to be private and a light whose job it is to illuminate — would make for an interesting story.
It was also important to me that we never reveal the source of the lights. Is it a friend playing a prank? The police making an arrest? The paparazzi trying to get their shot? It doesn’t really matter, because ultimately, it’s about a world where it has become increasingly difficult to have a little privacy.”
(photo by Kyle Dean Reinford)