“Love me, dear / Before I disappear,” croons Paul Bergmann in his bass-baritone, casting vibrant shadows of Leonard Cohen as he welcomes you into his world. “Nothing at All” is the first taste from Bergmann’s forthcoming album of the same name, and marks a change of course from last year’s Stars and Streams. Where that record embraced a lo-fi singer-songwriter approach, “Nothing at All” finds Bergmann back with a band in tow, alongside a string section that sounds like something out of a Disney movie, which makes for a startlingly excellent contrast to Bergmann’s more somber instincts at play in the track.
In the song’s video, which Paste can exclusively share today, he finds that same combination of, as he refers to it, “earnestness and schmaltz.” A shared appreciation of that blend led Bergmann to working with childhood friend Rufus Paisley, who took footage Bergmann had shot in Maine and overlaid animations of all sorts, some of which is similarly Walt Disney-esque. The darkness is still there, though, laced through with a touch of nihilistic absurdity. You can see it in his dead-eyed stare into the camera as he lip syncs those opening lines, and in his solitary dance as the song goes into full waltz mode.
Bergmann will self-release Nothing at All on May 5. Check out the video for the title track above and then give a listen to Bergmann’s Daytrotter session, recorded in 2015, via the Paste Cloud player below.