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Inglewood's Inner Wave Makes Moody Psychedelia to Ease Your Broken Heart

Float through space and time in the surreal new video for "Balto" from the South LA psych outfit.

Funny how life just…happens to you, huh? Going through the motions, meeting people who pinball our trajectories and shape parts of us, often without realizing that it even ever happened.

Well, that's just the idea behind Inglewood quintet Inner Wave's new video for "Balto." The song is a haunted, lo-fi piece of stripped-down psychedelia that has the group—who've been playing together since they were 13—selling out venues across LA. "Balto" floats, almost imperceptibly, in and out of choruses; it could almost be a lost track of hold music, if it weren't for the eerie falsetto melody that carries it throughout.


Accordingly, its Sean Matsuyama-directed video follows singer Pablo Sotelo through a night out, going through the motions of a lackluster dinner date, a performance, a drink, and a dance with a mystery lady who is not that date. It's all gorgeously cast in a slow frame single shot, passive and surreal. In combo with the song, the work drives home the uncanny mundanity that shrouds most of life's most important moments and connections.

"The idea behind 'Balto' was to explore the feeling of melancholia within relationships, but in a dream-like sense," Matsuyma tells Noisey. "I wanted the music video to feel like it was floating through space and time, creating encounters with people who shape something about us, without often being aware that it’s happening. The music video also explores the reality vs. fantasy of our ideas of relationships especially when Pablo is dancing, it feels like what the perfect relationship is, or what love is fantasized to be, but in reality it’s a mixture of all these intense emotions you willingly go through with another person to try and make it work."

Watch the premiere of Inner Wave's "Balto" video below.

Andrea Domanick is Noisey's West Coast editor. Follow her on Twitter.