Video Premiere: The Raw Youth & Inspiring Energy of Soft Swells’ “Reins”

Soft Swells © Kyle Dean Reinford

Get out if you lost the reins on someone you love they’ll return the same

Life is an uphill battle – make no mistake of that. We will be faced with countless obstacles and impediments, and our individual histories will be defined by the critical decisions we make at each impasse. Life may not always be easy, but it helps to know that we’re all in it together: Los Angeles’ Soft Swells have returned with an empowering, inspirational message of endurance and determination in “Reins,” an anthemic song that won’t take no for answer.

Get lost, somewhere in the middle of life
So what, somewhere in the middle tonight
There was a time we’d make it
That day is gone
If there’s a heart worth breaking
Time to move on
Watch: “Reins” – Soft Swells

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Reins,” the enthralling lead single off Soft Swells’ forthcoming third album Be Young (out May 26, 2017 via Bushwick Recordings INTL). Directed by Dylan Marko Bell, the video highlights the invigorating warmth and raw lifeblood that pulses through Soft Swells’ music. It’s that same energy that serves as inspiration for the band’s new record: After having 2.5 heart surgeries before turning 30 and a baby girl shortly after, bandleader Tim Williams is reminded of what it means to Be Young at every turn in life.

Be Young - Soft Swells album art

Be Young – Soft Swells

Williams describes the songs on Soft Swells’ new album as “a reflection of what it really means to be alive,” and album opener “Reins” feels very much like the album’s thesis statement: A fearless resiliency flows through Williams as he sings about overcoming life’s obstacles, urging us to persevere no matter what may stand in our way. “I wrote ‘Reins’ as a reaction to feeling locked into life choices we all clearly have the ability to change,” Williams says. “So often the easier decision is to let hopelessness blanket you into submission, when in fact, the bottom is the best place to make a real change.”

Never give up – no surrender. Williams’ positive attitude comes not out of naivety, but experience, which makes his wise words and message all the more potent.

Get out, get out, get out
If you lost the reins
On someone you love, they will
Return the same
Soft Swells © Kyle Dean Reinford

Soft Swells © Kyle Dean Reinford

Energy swells around Williams’ vocal as the chorus hits a cathartic crescendo. Guitars wail and synths shimmer, sending shivers down the spine as Soft Swells shout the repeated admonition, get out, get out, get out. Williams previously mentioned that he wrote the chorus’ lyric “about a friend trying to force a relationship simply because they felt their age limited them to any other possibilities,” but it truly applies to every situation in life – a characteristic that lends “Reins” its emotional charge and universal relatability. “Youth is defined by your ability to choose your outcome in a situation, not the number of days you are alive.” The Soft Swells leader speaks to some of our deepest insecurities and fears, urging us to keep an open mind and never give up on ourselves: At the end of the day, this is the life we’ve got, and it’s best spent in comfort, happiness, love, and good health.

Step back and into your piece of mind
Where life twists and turns until you make it right
Never again, but yet again
Carry a cave was once a friend
Oh what a rope we tied this time
Catch our big fall and slow decline

The end of Soft Swells’ music video takes the focus off the band and onto the deeper significance of the song and its parent album. “In the video, my wife and daughter can be seen during the always waiting for love line at the end of the song. They are my motivation for everything I do, so it was fitting to have them be the payoff for the video,” shares Williams. “We shot the entire video in my garage in Pasadena where [bandmates] Jack Lawless, Kyle Fredrickson, Christopher Pappas and myself started work on the record, so it made sense to shoot the video there as well. The concept was all Dylan Marko Bell’s, who is an amazing friend who I’ve had the pleasure to work with many times in the past.” It’s worth noting that Jack Lawless is also the drummer in DNCE, and since he was on tour during the video’s filming, BØRNSMisty Boyce is featured in his place.

"Reins" still - Soft Swells

“Reins” still – Soft Swells

A whole lotta love, heart, and joie de vivre went into Soft Swells’ latest work, and it all comes pouring out in “Reins.” Tim Williams effectively captures the thirst for life that has driven him to this present moment; his spirited embrace of the world makes for a dazzlingly catchy single, as well as the perfect introduction to Soft Swells’ most compelling, intimate and relatable album to date. Be sure to add “Reins” to your #newmusic playlist, and stay tuned for more as Soft Swells gear up for the release of Be Young, out May 26!

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Be Young - Soft Swells album art

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cover © Kyle Dean Reinford
artwork © Aaron May

:: “Reins” – Soft Swells ::


Be Young - Soft Swells album art

Be Young – Soft Swells album art

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com