Grand Lake Islands - "Diamond Eyes" (video) (Premiere)

The Portland, Oregon quartet Grand Lake Islands looked to the ubiquitous television phenomenon that is The Wire as inspiration for their latest video, "Diamond Eyes".

Erik Emanuelson spearheads the self-described "collective" called Grand Lake Islands. He dove headfirst into the project after leaving his job as an English teacher, which led to him moving from New York to the green and quirky confines of Portland, Oregon, to pursue music full-time. Existing somewhere between indie folk and indie rock, Grand Lake Islands' debut LP, Song From Afar fits comfortably both within the music coming out of Portland and Emanuelson's former New York. The group's Bandcamp describes its sound as "infused with that pungent New England feel--dried leaves and water tones swirling around the more mechanical beat of the city". Yet so too does it fit within the chilled-out, folksy vibes that regularly emanate from the Pacific Northwest.

Below you can watch the video for the Song From Afar cut "Diamond Eyes", a track that finds Emanuelson's vocals treading close to that most prized of singer/songwriter adjectives: "Dylanesque".

Emanuelson tells PopMatters about the video: "Justin and I both wanted it to be more about a feeling of tension as opposed to a specific plot line. The premise was that we wanted to touch upon the idea that nothing really is black and white, there is a lot of gray area in determining if a person is a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy'. We talked a lot about the show The Wire in planning this video. In that show, the gangsters are not all bad and the cops are not all good. It's more of a blurred line. We are all people, and people are very complicated."

"Diamond Eyes" is directed by Justin Koleszar (Damien Jurado's "Silver Timothy").

Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.


'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.