Introducing: Islands’ “Headlines”

Nick Thorburn premieres a new video, made by the campers of OMG Everywhere.

OMG Everywhere is a beautiful thing: a free, volunteer-led summer camp for budding artists. The campers — kids of Los Angeles aged roughly 10 to 13, who don’t normally have access to such workshops — engage in a week-long experience, where they are not just taught technical skills, but also encouraged to explore their artistic potential. During this time, they craft music videos, compose songs and produce an array of short films. The camp harnesses the diverse talents of its young attendees, empowering them to collaborate with their peers and create memorable works of art. The week concludes with a premiere at a fancy LA theater, where the campers, dressed to the nines, get to watch their work come to life on the big screen. 

OMG Everywhere’s spirit of community and volunteerism resonates with my own philosophy and echoes in the music of Islands. So I was fortunate that we were able to collaborate on a music video for the new single “Headlines.” With the help of the amazing counselors, who offered not only their technical expertise but also served as exceptional mentors and role models, we managed to film the video in just under two hours.  

During a blistering heat wave in July, we shut off the large (inefficient) air conditioner so we could listen to the song a few times. After that, the kids brainstormed on the concept and then promptly set to work. First, they built and gathered all the necessary props and backdrops.  (One plucky camper, upon learning my favorite color, fashioned a gigantic cardboard guitar for me to play.) Then, armed with cameras, the kids swiftly executed four sequences in lighting speed, with all of the campers appearing in the final scene for a huge dance party. It was a heartwarming and wholesome experience and I’m grateful to be able to share the video here.

OMG Everywhere was started in 2011 by a collective of filmmakers and artists (Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, Matt Amato, Kate Cerise, Judy Craig, Hiro Murai, Isaac Ravishankara, and Jack Richardson) and soldiers on today, with the help of donations. They always need donations to keep things running, and they’re always looking for volunteers too. Check ’em out here:

Islands’ new album, And That’s How Dolphins Lost Their Legs, is out Friday, August 25 via ELF Records.

(Photo Credit: Laura Moreau)

Nick Thorburn is the frontman of the indie rock band Islands. Formerly of The Unicorns, and a composer for the critically acclaimed podcast Serial, he is also an active volunteer around the LA area for organizations like SELAH and OMG Everywhere.

Islands’ new album, And That’s How Dolphins Lost Their Legs, is out Friday, August 25 via ELF Records.

(Photo Credit: Jason Tippett)