Singled Out: Isle of Rhodes Share The Story Behind 'Islands'
"Islands" is a song that was first written before Isle of Rhodes became a band. At the time I was writing songs for piano trio (piano, cello, violin). All these songs that I was writing back then were actually written out using pencil and stave paper (what a pain!).
In essence, "Islands" is a song that talks about how every little thing we do affects those around us, causing a chain reaction. Although, that concept can be taken negatively, this song was written with an optimistic view of the world. So, as you see, we are more like the sea than islands.
When Isle of Rhodes became a band, it was natural for me to adapt "Islands" into the rockier realm. When Colin added his tribal drum part, the song felt so much more organic. The reverbs and delays seemed to extenuate the watery imagery given by the lyrics. It became what I felt was a very "visual" song. It made a ton of sense for us to make a video for it.
The story for the video came so easily, as the song was giving me such strong visual inspiration. The storyboard literally came to me while listening to the song in bed one morning. I love all things about the ocean, so I thought it would be totally in line with the song to use ocean imagery to create a visual analogy of how we are more like the "sea" than an "island." How much more literal could I be than have the happy little fish of the sea save a man from his desolate island.
Originally, I thought we could do the video with a Michel Gondry look. The whole video would be staged out in a theater and then we would have stop motion elements in it. Ultimately that would've cost a ton, so I imagined it completely in stop motion. That worked out better as we could do more with story itself.
My wife is a film producer, and she put me in touch with the director Maxwell Sorensen. We met a few times and really started to play with the story of video. All ideas we had were bounced around, and most of them made it into the film. We added new characters and new scenes. By the end, we had created this imaginary world where fish play and eat each other.
I waited for a few months while he worked, and was totally overjoyed when I saw it. After a few tweaks I felt as though we had a great little short story to along with the song.
I hope you all enjoy the video and song!
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and check out the video right here!