Jason Isbell has released a new video for his song “Only Children.” The song appears on Isbell and the 400 Unit’s latest album, Reunions.
Directed by Kurt Simpson, the clip follows two adolescent friends through a dreamlike nighttime experience filled with wonder and fear. They seem to be on the run from something and in possession of a mysterious, perhaps illicit, source of light. But things are not as they seem, and the narrative in the video may actually be more of a memory, given the song’s subject matter.
“Only Children,” which recalls a friend who died young, is a classic Isbell tearjerker in the vein of “Elephant” and “If We Were Vampires.” In Isbell’s estimation, writing that way is about more than being sad for sad’s sake — those songs really resonate because they dare to imagine survival in the face of loss.
“There’s something about the sad songs where it’s not just sad, there’s a resilience, and I think that’s what really affects people,” Isbell told Rolling Stone in April. “When you’re painting a picture of people who insist on pushing through and surviving, that’s where people really get moved, because that is at the heart of the human experience.”
Beginning Thursday, October 8th, Isbell and the 400 Unit will play a series of four socially distanced outdoor (and above-ground) shows at the Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee.