Photo by Philip Cosores
Anyone who has ever witness a Future Islands concert knows how important emotional expression is to their live performance. Sam Herring is the type of frontman who will literally rip his clothes and tear at his own face all for the sake of translating the core resonance of a song into physical action. It’s fitting, then, that for the lyric video for the band’s newest single, “Cave”, they hired an American sign language interpreter who’s known for his emotive translations.
Jonathan Lamberton gained a bit of viral fame for his innovative interpretations of New York’s Mayor de Blasio during televised press conferences. A deaf man himself, Lamberton seems to over-emote his translations, but it’s really a style he equates to someone understanding the accent of a native speaker over that of a language learner. The vivid language is perfect for signing the anxious lyrics to “Cave”, a track that “speaks directly to the bruised but brave romantic in each of us.” “I don’t believe anymore,” Herring wails as Lamberton mournfully signs. “Don’t believe anymore/ ‘Cause what was gold, is gone and cold.”
Watch and listen below. (For those who don’t know sign language, you can head to the original YouTube post to read the transcribed lyrics.)