Video: The Delines “Surfers in Twilight”

Photo credit: Jason Quigley

There are few writers who can distil people’s lives and stories into just a few lines as effectively as Willie Vlautin.  It’s a rare lyrical gift: with perfectly chosen language and carefully selected fine environmental details, Vlautin translates an entire narrative – it could be a novel or movie – into a deeply moving song.  The words for ‘Surfers in Twilight’ are so artfully created that they are shared in full below and worth absorbing alongside the music.  That the final three words – unrelated to the unfolding narrative – are chosen for the title seems especially important as the personal tragedy at the heart of the song is disconnected from the surrounding world, which carries on regardless.  Needless to say, the musical performance, particularly Amy Boone’s vocal, is also hugely emotive.  Her words are drawn out in weary melody, full of resignation and despair over delicate finger-picking.  When the sombre trumpet sounds, the feeling is achingly deep and full.  The video was filmed at  Filmed at Bocce Studio and it’s a privilege to see the musicianship.  More importantly, our attention is drawn, without distraction, to the artists’ instruments and voices and the dark tale being told.

‘Surfers in Twilight’ is taken from The Delines’ brand new album ‘The Sea Drift’, a cinematic collection of narratives inspired by America’s Gulf Coast.  The follow-up to the award-winning ‘The Imperial’ has, once again, been very well-received and is already on many critics’ shortlists for album of the year.  Check it out.


Flashing lights, flashing lights
As my man walks toward me
Patrol cars stop, police rush out and
Throw my man against a wall
In a seaside town with tourists all around
My man handcuffed on the sidewalk street

You ask me who is this man of mine
And what has he done?
I swear I don’t know I swear I don’t know
He was just coming to pick me up from work
From the back of their car he glances at me and
I can tell whatever they think he’s done, he’s guilty

Flashing lights, flashing lights
The cops, the beach, the tourists, the surfers in twilight

About Andrew Frolish 1453 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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