Austin, Texas-based alternative artist 1st Base Runner recently unveiled the music video, “Near Me,” a track lifted from his 2021 EP, Ellis, a collaboration with Bryan Ellis.
The video, directed by Ellis Bahl and Johnny Chew, enters a visual realm akin to the weird and wonderful world experienced by Alice in Alice in Wonderland, as well as whiffs of portentous savors. Images of dripping black goo, magical coins, a vaporizing deer head, a tiny dancer, and a mysteriously self-disassembling chair imbue the visuals with Twilight Zone-like distillate.
1st Base Runner is the brainchild of Tim Husmann, who performed with well-known artists, playing drums, synths, and directing electronic arrangements, at elite venues. Then he took a break, a pause, a hiatus of Scriptural length – seven years. When he returned, it was with a new album, entitled appropriately, Seven Years of Silence. Released in July of 2021, the album is brooding, moody, dark, slightly ominous, and wonderfully wrought.
Ellis, on the other hand, embraces brighter colors, yet there is still a sense of Husmann’s shadowy aspect running through the music, although reduced to a kind of sonic residue rather than a leitmotif.
“Near Me” rides a fat, dark rhythm made up of crunching percussion and a massive, rumbling bassline, while medial colors plink with mesmerizing effect. Husmann’s voice, a blend of a deep tenor and sighing tones, imbues the lyrics with enigmatic expression. There’s a sad, lingering feel to his inflection as if attempting to lure in and push away a lover at the same time.
As Rising Artists’ Jaye Maverick writes, “Starting ‘Ellis’ off is ‘Near Me,’ this particular song will have you slow dancing in the mirror while you wear a feather boa around your neck.”
At once plush and a touch risky, “Near Me” blends surreal visuals with dreamlike music into a beguiling, almost psychedelic, experience.