Video of the Week: Volcano Victims - ‘Canicular Years’
Music videos don’t have to be high production affairs, and I love seeing the innovation of indie bands and artists – although most in Nordic countries usually have the advantage of being close to an atmospheric forest, or a ridiculously desolate ocean shoreline.
Volcano Victims don’t quite have that luxury as they’re based in Berlin, formed by Icelandic songwriter Gaui, who spent his formative years in his home town Reykjavik secretly writing lots of songs – although I don’t think it would have come as much of a surprise to anyone, given that everyone seems so naturally creative in Iceland.
They’ve released a steam of singles this year, and it’s a curious mix too, with mostly melancholy atmospheric tracks and some brighter indie pop songs too. As he explained to us: “Iceland isn’t only about long and dark winters. The summers are bright and full of optimism. Writing melancholic songs just came easier to me”.
Now based in Berlin the songwriting has developed with a playful, carefree indie pop spirit, and new track ‘Canicular Years’ is a really good demonstration of that, with shimmering 60s influenced melodies and backing vocals, accompanied by a more modern indie pop guitar sound. Vocally there’s a hint of a The School’s Liz Hunt, always one of my favourite true indie pop bands.
As for the video, we’ll it’s quite brilliantly set on a running track, which is always going to appeal to me, and as Gaui explains it’s a song about maturing as an adult. “The song is about realising the comfort of the dog days (here "dog years") are over and it's time to grow up and become a contributing member of society. That means getting a proper job and health insurance. In the video Gaui runs the straight and narrow road, in this case a running track, and he's challenged by old demons and new obstacles.”
Aside from the obvious point that running tracks don’t tend to work quite so well if they’re straight, I really love the video. Entertaining, slightly silly and the band are clearly having great fun making it.
This is ‘Canicular Years’.