Songwriter Ian Fisher may work within the Americana and country world, but the Missouri native and high-school pal of modern-country star Chris Janson couldn’t be more of an outlier.
Fisher has spent the last third of his life honing his craft in Europe, and that experience manifests itself in the striking new video for his song “Long Line.” Filmed in an abandoned and supposedly haunted villa in Vienna, Austria, that once belonged to opera singer Maria Jeritza, the clip finds the normally unassuming solo artist embracing his theatrical side, donning a flamboyant robe and ascot to play lord of the manor. The thematic wisps of smoke underscore the message of the hypnotic ballad, as past loves disappear into the darkness.
“I wrote this song alone one afternoon in Vienna in 2015 as I let time and distance smother another romantic spark,” he says. “In ‘Long Line,’ I point at our ability to value people, especially romantic partners, more for the role that they play in our lives than for who they are as human beings unto themselves. They become objects, they become replaceable and they can lose their humanity in our eyes. I believe that when we lose sight of others’ humanity, we also lose some of our own. ‘Long Line’ is about a path of dehumanizing others in our hearts and minds that leads to our eventual loss of our own humanity and connection to ourselves.”
A track on Fisher’s latest album Idle Hands, “Long Line” features minimal percussion, but is driven forward by the unique pairing of a string ensemble and pedal-steel guitar — the most country-music of instruments.
“I grew up in the Midwest and, no matter how hard I try to change, nearly everything I write is a country song at heart,” says Fisher. “The result is basically country music without a country.”
Fisher recently released an EP of Italian songs and will tour throughout Europe this spring:
February 28 — Leipzig, Germany @ Cammerspiele
March 1 — Cologne, Germany @ Weltempfänger
March 2 — Frankfurt, Germany @ A.M., No2 Records
March 10 — Hartberg, Austria @ Museum Hartberg
April 7 — Vienna, Austria @ Chelsea
April 11 — Salzburg, Austria @ Jazzit
April 12 — Serfaus, Austria @ Via Claudia Saal
April 30 — Berlin, Germany @ Prachtwerk
May 3 — Munich, Germany @ Marstall