“Headlines” by Canadian Rock band, Islands, is a compelling song that beautifully articulates a yearning to avoid conflict, war, and confrontation. The lyrics delve into the speaker’s contemplation of the concept of being “right,” offering alternative paths including slowing down, refraining from action altogether, or even resorting to physical combat. Symbolically, the mention of a scarecrow and a straw man represents the futility of empty arguments. This catchy and upbeat tune also touches upon emotions of feeling overwhelmed and lonely, contrasting with the ethereal presence of another individual. Overall, the song masterfully captures a sense of frustration and a deep longing for respite.


The accompanying music video, directed by Vali Chandrasekaran, adds a cinematic flair with its carwash-themed concept. Chandrasekaran, primarily known for his work as a TV comedy writer for shows like “30 Rock” and “Modern Family,” skillfully portrays an artist who must mentally prepare himself for another demanding tour. The video showcases the artist’s transformation from a mere mortal burdened by the weight of real life, into a rockstar persona, an idealized version of himself ready to pour his heart and soul into his music and captivate the audience. Paradoxically, this transformative process exhausts the artist, yet he discovers solace and fulfilment on the other side.


The collaboration between director Vali Chandrasekaran and artist Nick Thorburn is a match made in comedic heaven. Thorburn’s artistic journey, spanning from his days with The Unicorns to his current work with Islands, has consistently blended thoughtfulness with uproarious chaos. Consequently, his music is perfectly suited to Chandrasekaran’s directorial vision. Who else could power through their own song while maneuvering through an automated car wash? The answer is simple – nobody else.

The music video is expertly crafted with Andrew Brooks and Anthony Sylvester serving as executive producers, Nick Baudille as co-producer, and Gene Sung as the director of photography. The collaborative efforts of the entire team, including editor Anthony Sylvester and Nico Valentine, colorist Sam Ziaie, wardrobe stylist Tiana Aiello, and hair and makeup artist Bronwyn Leanne, contribute to the video’s immersive and visually striking experience. With a strong supporting cast and crew, including choreographer Craig Fishback and driver “Moose” Montante, the video truly comes to life.


Overall, “Headlines” by Islands is a remarkable song that resonates with listeners through its introspective lyrics and catchy melodies. The music video complements the song perfectly, capturing the artist’s transformative journey with comedic finesse. Chandrasekaran’s direction and the collaborative efforts of the entire team elevate the visual narrative, making it an engaging and memorable experience.


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“Headlines” has been added to my “Summer Vibes“, and Wanderlust” ,  playlists on Spotify!