Russell Taylor thoroughly impressed us with the release of his recent EP Tin Man: The Blue, which shows off his musical range and the evolution of his artistry. The most impressive moment of the set, though, is "Dance With Somebody," his cover of the '80s dance-pop classic first made a hit by the incomparable Whitney Houston. Russell mines the emotional depths of the lyrics, flipping the dynamic into a searing, slightly melancholy take on loneliness. He further explores that theme in the song's recently released video.
In the Kai Morrison-directed clip, Russell dons the guise of a clown. During the day, he appears to be a jovial, happy-go-lucky busker passing out balloons. However, as day turns to night, we see that he's a hard-drinking, chain-smoking man whose visions of love never to seem to be within his grasp. Russell definitely served up raw emotion in his vocal performance of the song, but here he proves that he can convey that same emotion physically as he makes us feel for his isolated clown. The director also deserves credit here as well. Morrison not only gives us a visually appealing story between Rt and the somebody he'd like to dance with, but also puts the viewer in Russell's shoes.
In addition to offering the video, Russell also wrote a touching open letter to Whitney on the anniversary of her untimely passing. "I have heard this song 100 times easily, but it took just one time for me to actually sit inside of the words and melodies; to experience it as a singer first hand; to come to know you Whitney the woman, more intimately," he wrote of his experience with the song. "And suddenly, all of who I know you to have been publicly, and what I have read and heard of your private life...it all makes sense. I am you, sans the throngs of superfans and millions of dollars and your 20-octave range of course. I am a human being. I am an artist. And just like you, my imperfect humanity and my artistry are conjoined, impossible to separate no matter how detrimental and/or toxic to one another they may become."
Check out the video for "Dance With Somebody" below and then to his Facebook page to read Russell's touching letter in full.