MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Marlin’s Dreaming’s “Earnestly” Video

Semisi Ma’ia’i describes “Earnestly” as a fresh spin on the modern country ballad. “There’s the traditional romantic back and forth between the two vocalists, sort of candidly conversating,” says the frontman for Marlin’s Dreaming. “It’s a song about a dysfunctional relationship. Both sides don’t seem to be completely aligned. But at the same time, both sides are madly in love with each other.”

“Earnestly” is the first official new music from the acclaimed New Zealand quartet since 2021’s Hasten, which saw the Dunedin outfit heading in a more stripped-down, tunefully introspective direction. That continues with the woozy indie twang of “Earnestly,” which features vocals from alt-folk singer/songwriter (and fellow New Zealander) Erny Belle.

Ma’ia’i directed the video for “Earnestly,” which takes place in a watering hole inhabited by some well-weathered patrons. “The original concept was to set it in a rural tavern,” he says. “As we dug into the idea, our attention veered away from the scenery to its regulars. They became the heart of the setting, shaping it more than the backdrop itself. I feel like the story is relatively ambiguous—purposely so. We want people to take only what they want from the song and the video.”

We’re proud to premiere Marlin’s Dreaming’s “Earnestly” video.

—Hobart Rowland