Dream rock quartet Humble Fire is back with the slow-burning “Builder,” the third single and second video from their upcoming album of the same name.
“Builder” is about relationships and how difficult it can be to cut ties once they’ve been strung. “I thought we’d build a life for two / What about the things you do?” is the mission statement sung by vocalist Nefra Faltas. It translates less as a mopey pout and more as a sentiment of exasperation over unevenly shouldered emotional labor. The strings of the relationship are taut with tension.
Fittingly, the video for “Builder” is centered around threads. Strings web between fingers, they form a mask over a face, and they beam out from mouths and chests. They connect the band members, but they also restrain.
The editing of the video highlights the conflict of the song as well. For a video that should be stark (most of the shots are filmed against either a sheer white or black background), color is splashed everywhere through the use of filters and effects. Those filters cycle through quicker than can be processed, and paired with a perpetually shaky camera, there is a purposeful disorientation.
For all the eye-catching effects and camera work though, the stakes of the video are subtle. Gold scissors match gold flakes on the band members’ arms and wrists. Faltas ends the video with tears in her eyes, repeating the refrain, “For the life of me.”
That’s not to say “Builder” is all about decay. There is not a finite supply of thread. As Humble Fire shows in scenes where the band surrounds Faltas, softly putting their hands on her shoulders and back, it’s good to have a loving foundation to build on again.