When Warren Heller was growing up, he felt pressured to follow a life trajectory that was predetermined for him. And under the moniker Isador, the alt-rock musician composed a dark riff on that time in his life with his new track, “Falling.”
The sonic layers are tightly packed together to make a catchy yet haunting song. Heller’s vocals are encased among a flurry of aural elements ranging from a clapping beat to a whooshing filter. “Falling” induces the feeling of claustrophobia in the way that all of the elements converge in such a tight space.
“’Falling’ is about an overwhelming sense of powerlessness and fear for the future,” Heller tells Billboard. “I wrote it after I dropped out of college, when I felt totally hopeless and isolated with no escape in sight.”
He builds the tension of the song by amassing a wall of sound — and that sensibility is emphasized by lyrics like, “Dreams falling / grave’s calling / we’re running out of time / tick-tock, I’m stalling.”
The music video opens on Heller being dragged through a forest by two cloaked figures, adding a visual element to the sense of suffocation.
“With the video, my brother and I took the themes of the song and turned them into narrative,” the artist tells Billboard. “In the video, any attempt to escape is met with the world fracturing to catch me again, and when I do break free, I don’t know where to go.”
Heller eventually claws himself out of his captors’ clutches. But as soon as he finds himself alone in an open field, he’s dragged right back into the forest.
Watch Isador’s video for “Falling” here.