Ruins touch something within us. It might be hard to imagine given the circumstances, but there’s something about walking amongst the remnants of an old civilisation evokes a feeling that’s hard to pinpoint – a deep admiration for the past? The heavy weight of a long history with dozens of stones unturned? Whatever it is, Indian Wells has encapsulated it on ‘New Ruins’ with an accompanying video by Flora MacLeod.
The track opens with an eerie calm and the visuals accompany this, the steady beating of the waves against rocks matching perfectly with the consistent pounding of Indian Wells’ track. Before long, however, both give into something rising quickly in intensity. As MacLeod’s images of the Himalayan mountains become increasingly distorted and encompassed in that same crashing water, the track carries the same sense of urgency. The combination is dizzying.
Together, though, they provide a lot to think about. As we become increasingly absorbed in the online world, the natural one is left abandoned, as MacLeod shows in her feverish collection of images. But as part of that online world, our consumption of music and art increases massively. What Indian Wells and Flora MacLeod suggest then, it seems, is that music and art are our most important tools right now. Their contemplation of what civilisations and history we will leave behind are justified as climate change becomes more worrying. If the music and art we consume begin to raise these questions as ‘New Ruins’ does, maybe the message will sink in more. It’s time we take care of our planet and Indian Wells and Flora MacLeod provide you with ample reasons to start appreciating it more.