There’s an elderly man scratching his head on a rural trail someplace. He comes upon a dog, and soon a roadside, both of which seem to provide him with some sense of comfort. We can hear the tone of a ringing phone as day turns to night and the gentleman walks along the road into the headlights of an idle truck. “Hey Catherine, it’s been awhile” he says, just as Blue Wilson descends into “Big Rock,” the stellar new single from the critically acclaimed EP Younger. As vividly high definition as something from the big screen, the music rises from the depths of Blue Wilson mastermind Michael Stevenson’s soul and wraps around the visuals we’re consuming like a blanket of warmth for a cold and fragile heart looking to love, and live, once more.
Our protagonist finds himself in a long corridor and eventually inside of a locker room. He stubbornly puts on a pair of ice skates and takes to a frigid rink while Blue Wilson’s waves of emotive psychedelia overtake our speakers and provide a sort of shapeless rhythm for the man to dance to. Throwing on a pair of blue sunglasses, he skates around a stoic Stevenson, who strums away at his Fender with a look of utter optimism flanked with a surreal disconnect to his surroundings. The music modulates ever so slowly, and before we know it the supple melody is evolving into a rigid slice of atonal funk that is tempered under the airiness of the vocals. Like sophisticated choreography, this song is nothing if it isn’t calculated and focused from top to bottom.
The woman that we can only assume to be Catherine appears on the sidelines of the rink, much to the surprise of our skating cowboy, whose overwhelming joy is as instantly recognizable as the first rays of a new rising sun. Together they spin into each other’s arms and around the ice to the tune of Blue Wilson’s haunting, reverb-saturated harmonies, which at this point become so glassy and abstract that the only thing holding them together is the immaculate glow of the treble-less EQ. As stimulating visually as it is endearingly evocative from an audiological standpoint, the dreaminess of “Big Rock” never becomes so indulgent that we lose sight of its intricate complexities, which are as much of a draw as the lyrics or music itself are.
Stevenson stands at center ice beside his combo amp and turquoise Stratocaster in the final frames of the video, our newly reunited couple strutting in the backdrop with the house lights now transfixed solely on Stevenson. This closing scene is perhaps the most jarring of the entire piece, if for no other reason than the underlying feeling that all of this is a surreal glimpse into the future. Blue Wilson’s music video for “Big Rock” takes the mortality, kinship and self-awareness of the song’s divine lyrical content and colorizes it in an intrepid work of art that beautifully conveys the passion in Michael Stevenson’s songcraft without sacrificing any of his decadent tonality. Tremendously well-produced and robustly designed by the man behind Blue Wilson’s intriguing style of indie rock, this is one video that I can wholeheartedly endorse as authentic, truly worthwhile viewing and listening alike.