Old Favourites: Modest Mouse – “Ocean Breathes Salty”

“I’m going to carry you in. In my head, in my heart, in my soul…”

Here’s a clip that I was going to reminisce on before the break kicked in – a video that is, to me, one of the classic indie rock videos of the 2000s. Released in the wake of the phenomena that was Float On, Ocean Breathes Salty didn’t get nearly as much recognition as it deserved at the time in 2004. It’s certainly stood the test of time, however, giving a stunning visualisation to one of the many highlights of the Good News for People Who Love Bad News record.

Through jaw-drop visuals and wordless storytelling, we see the tale of a poor, fatherless boy unfurl into an unlikely friendship with an even more unlikely ending. The gradual builds and the smart editing allows this video to perfectly complement the song itself, bringing a whole new layer of context and meaning to the song’s themes. This video really caught me off-guard when it was first released, and I’m happy to admit that the first few viewings completely went over my head. That said, I’m now at the point where I can’t imagine the song without the video – and that’s got to be a strong trait.


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