On the surface, The Shins‘ new video for “It’s Only Life” looks like scenes out of a children’s book – a kid, a dog, some taped-on twig antlers, fireworks, playing pretend in an abandoned car.

Dig a little deeper, though, and a carefully-crafted sense of eeriness takes over, courtesy of director Hiro Murai, also behind the equally-unsettling clip for St. Vincent’s “Cheerleader.” Murai weaves metaphor-filled shots between Kid and Dog’s adventures, complementing front man James Mercer’s insightful lyrics about life, death and everything in between.

Mercer croons, unfazed, as he’s dragged toward a forest by a horde of tall, dark, cloaked monsters – “Well I guess it’s only life, it’s only natural/We all spend a little while going down the rabbit hole.”

Part post-apocalyptic, part magical fantasy, “It’s Only Life” marks the second single from The Shins’ latest, Port of Morrow, available now.

The Shins are currently in the midst of a U.S. tour.

7/23 – Festival Hall – Melbourne, Australia

7/25 – Hordern Pavilion – Sydney, Australia

7/27 – Splendour in the Grass Festival – Byron Bay, Australia

7/29 – Fuji Rock Festival – Niigata, Japan

8/3 – Lollapalooza 2012 – Chicago, IL

8/4 – Molson Amphitheatre – Toronto, Canada

8/5 – Osheaga Festival – Montreal, Canada

8/17 – Lowlands 2012 – Biddinghuizen, Holland

8/17 – Highfield Festival – Grosspoesna, Germany

8/18 – Pukkelpop 2012 – Hasslet, Belgium

8/21 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Holland

8/23 – Open Air Festival – Zurich, Switzerland

8/24 – Rock En Seine – Paris, France

8/25 – Richfield Avenue – Reading, UK

8/26 – Bramham Park – Leeds, UK

9/22 – Paramount Theater w/ Washed Out – Seattle, WA

9/25 – Orpheum Theater w/ Washed Out – Vancouver, BC

9/26 – Keller Auditorium w/ Washed Out – Portland, OR

9/29 – Harmony By The Bay – Mountain View, CA

9/30 – SDSU Open Air Theatre w/ Washed Out – San Diego, CA

10/2 – Gibson Amphitheatre w/ Washed Out – Universal City, CA

10/3 – Rialto Theatre w/ Washed Out – Tucson, AZ

10/4 – Kiva Auditorium w/ Washed Out – Albuquerque, NM

10/7 – Ryman Auditorium w/ White Rabbits – Nashville, TN

10/8 – Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre w/ White Rabbits – Atlanta, GA

10/10 – House of Blues w/ White Rabbits – Houston, TX

10/11 – House of Blues w/ White Rabbits – Dallas, TX

10/13 – Austin City Limits – Austin, TX

–Nee-Sa Lossing, CBS Local


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