New Music Video for Blight
Tim Higgins debuts the music video for Blight - the title track from his first solo album. Directed by newcomer Reagan Wells (Bloody Knuckles, Strike) and produced by acclaimed documentarian and film editor Nick Corrao (Civil Indigent; Come On Down and Pick Me Up), the music video captures Higgins' experience in both his hometown of Detroit and the Deep South - where beauty and decay go hand in hand - and behind every beautiful historic facade is something sinister.
Higgins, a native of Detroit, who spent his teenage years in Lower Alabama recounts, "This song is about my old neighborhood in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was bull dozed a few years ago so an extended stay motel could be built in its place. The street was filled with Victorian houses with turrets and wrap around porches - but all in some sort of deterioration. City Hall considered our homes "blighted" - and that got me thinking about what that word - which I always viewed as a horticultural term. My first year in the house, I started seeing my big, wooden staircase shrink in the dryness of the winter, only to swell in the humidity of the Black Belt's summer. You become very attuned to your environment in an old house, especially when you live without air conditioning or heat." In Blight, Higgins asks, "Will these roots take hold / Will these seeds grow? / Will these rains suffice / Take a blossom from a blight?" before delving into a narrative of a neighborhood where "neighbors point their fingers / while the sicker just get sicker." The authoritative, gravel-throated singer then turns inward, bringing the song into focus by announcing his loneliness, and describing how "this cold winter taught [him] how to feign warmth" before Jack Thomason's feral guitar takes the song out with a swelling solo and bolstered by tribal drumming by percussionist John Wood. Produced and recorded by Birmingham, AL, native Parker McAnnally, the track is brought to a crescendo with background vocals by Nashville based singer-songwriter and activist Kyshona Armstrong and keys by Little Bandit frontman Alex Caress (YK Records).
Filmed on location in Greensboro, Alabama, director Reagan Wells takes the viewer on a trip into the county seat of Hale County, where antebellum mansions are juxtaposed against the shacks next door, and parterre gardens battle encroaching kudzu. "We wanted all the locations to feel weathered and lived in, each one suggesting a different world of memories that Tim could explore with his song." Most visually striking is Higgins entrance into frame in the unrestored Greensboro Opera House, circa 1903, and left untouched since the 1940s; "It was important to me to showcase the historic structures of a region I care so much about - and to celebrate the attention to craftsmanship and the ability for even impoverished areas to recognize the importance of saving buildings that otherwise would face the wrecking ball like my home did," Higgins says. While restoration efforts are underway there, the video also showcases the interior of an 1840 Greek Revival mansion and its gardens, and Auburn Rural Studio’s Lions Park Playscape, a maze of 55-gallon drums.
Higgins currently resides in Nashville with his partner, textile artist Aaron Sanders Head. BLIGHT, his debut solo record, is to be released in Winter 2018.