U2’s new single ‘Every Breaking Wave’ released as short film

Song part of teenage love story set against the background of the Troubles


U2’s latest single Every Breaking Wave has been released as part of a short film set against the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

It is less a traditional music video and more a short film lasting more than 13 minutes.

It is a love story set across the sectarian divide. Every Breaking Wave follows two teenagers, one Catholic and the other Protestant, who fall in love amidst ongoing violence.

The film is made by Aoife McCardle, a London-based filmmaker from Belfast.

She said: “I wanted to make a film about what it was like to be a teenager in the early ’80s in Northern Ireland. All the different pressures on you, the pressures of friendship, of falling in love for the first time, and all that in the face of huge troubles.

U2's video for latest single 'Every Breaking Wave'

“Violence was inescapable on your doorstep. I remember very vividly what it was like to grow up when there were bombs going off and army everywhere so I did draw on a lot of memories.

“I hope people see that it’s a story. A story that’s based on real stories. It’s like capturing a time. And I hope people feel inspired by how resilient teenagers at that time were in Northern Ireland, and moved by their ability to live life in as full a way as possible, despite the circumstances.”

It starts off with Stiff Little Fingers’ peace anthem Alternative Ulster and ends with The Troubles, another song from the latest U2 album Songs of Innocence.

The album version and acoustic version of Every Breaking Wave are both included.

The Edge expressed admiration of the short film, stating, “The Aoife McArdle short film expands on the theme of Songs of Innocence which was largely rooted in our experience growing up in the early eighties in Dublin.

“Aoife chose west Belfast in the same period, as it was the neighbourhood that was so formative to her. We think her work is something pretty extraordinary.”

Filmmaker Spike Jonze said of Aoife McArdle’s short film, “I had never seen anything by Aoife before but was really taken with this film. She captured that feeling and size of life of being a teenager and of first love so well. She drifts between the reality of friends and first love into fantasy so effortlessly and romantically. It’s a perfect little gem of a romance movie.”

McCardle has previously made a trilogy of videos for James Vincent McMurrow and videos for Anna Calvi and Bryan Ferry.

Her latest, Open Eye Signal, for Jon Hopkins, is a skateboard road trip across America.

She has also produced commercial videos for Electric Ireland, Vodafone and the Road Safety Authority in Scotland among many others.