Film At 11: Fol Chen

One of the most compelling aspects of Fol Chen has to be its cryptic, art-school persona matched against such a palatable dark-pop sound. Featuring occasional Liars live contributor Adam Goldman as the fictional Samuel Bing, Fol Chen has been an enigma since its inception, unrelenting in its efforts to ensure the quizzical themes of its two albums—last year’s Part 1: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made and the new Part II: The New December (both on Asthmatic Kitty)—get more attention than its members. The Chris Wilcha-directed video for Part II‘s “In Ruins” keeps the mystery intact: Two young, nameless Icelanders traipse around the desolate environs of a valley once magnificently lush, sifting with their hands volcanic ash otherwise ensconced atop most everything by the recent Eyjafjallajökull explosion. The odd, squirmy pop of the song underpins the redemptive, though ultimately sad, video treatment with striking results, as Fol Chen once again proves that pop music is much better with brains.