As we head into fall, “I Like the Way You Talk About the Future,” carries the luminescent easiness of summer into the end of the year, while staring into the unknown vacuum of what is to come. Following “Ascension,” this is the second song release by Canadian group, Sam Roberts Band, since 2016. The track takes you on a trip with its playful music video, a dancing collage of lyrics and eclectic animations.
From car-eating monsters and retro video game clips, to black-and-white sketches and psychedelic visualizers, the video is a kaleidoscope of imagery directed and edited by Jordan Allen. It’s organized chaos. It begins with illustrated lyrics: a vintage van hitting the road, following a disoriented treasure map aimlessly in the desert. As Roberts sings of the inevitable future he’s moving into — “Too far gone, I’m moving on / No going back now where I came from” — the motion graphics flip through each other mimicking the anxiety of heading into the unknown.
“Essentially, in my mind, it comes back to the need for some light. A way forward. To shine some kind of bright light on the future, the path that we’re walking and not giving in to despair.”Sam Roberts
The last ⅔ of the track reveals this light Roberts aims for, “I don’t know your name / But I like the way you talk about the future / I like the way you talk / About the future.” Perhaps the future lacks certainty, but the unidentified “you” provides an optimism paralleled with trippy instrumentals. Tight drums, keyboard riffs, and surf-rocky guitars unleash as the colorful animations continue to roll over the screen.
Video messages towards the end, “Don’t panic,” “Only Hope,” “Silence is the Enemy,” assist in bringing clarity to the subliminal messages of hope infused in “I Like the Way You Talk About the Future,” lifting the mood from a confused expression at the beginning of the song.
Across his almost two decades in the music industry, Sam Roberts has been nominated and won multiple music awards. Such achievements include Artist of the Year and Rock Album of the Year for his 2008 album, Love at the End of the World at the Juno Awards. “I Like the Way You Talk About the Future,” presents a shift in sound, which deems appropriate for the message of the single and everything to come.
The final question in the visualizer, “Where are we going?,” no longer feels like aimless wandering past dry rivers and ghost towns. It’s hopeful. A new beginning and renewal. Maybe there’s no going back, but whatever lies ahead has infinite potential.