After seven years away from performing, Tim Husmann is back. The artist, who goes by 1st Base Runner when releasing solo music, had performed internationally before he took a break to reflect and grow. What he releases now is the culmination of vulnerable explorations in the shape of dark, mesmerizing, and atmospheric tracks.
The album, aptly titled Seven Years of Silence, is eight songs long, with most of the songs clocking in at under three minutes. Though brief, each track is an experience. “Break Even” opens with steadily falling notes and a dark-wave spaciousness. “Only One” continues this darkness, albeit with a sound akin to a church bell toll as a spine. Later, the record wafts into a landscape more dreamy. “Escape” shifts from falling to floating, and “Pirouette” finds a pace more vibrant, in its own ambient way.
Despite the emphasis on soundscapes, 1st Base Runner does not shy away from catchiness. This is apparent with “All Thoughts” which toys with the listener before exploding into melody, and then again on album closer “Ocean”, which carries a sense of Thom Yorke in the lingering melody that wraps around the song like a snake.
There is never a moment when Seven Years of Silence, for all its production tricks and electronic energy, doesn’t have an emotional rawness. For this, we can only hope 1st Base Runner doesn’t feel another extended break coming on.