Though Liam O’Brien is probably best-known among Wisconsin music supporters for his work in the eclectic music collective, Holy Sheboygan!, the Milwaukee singer-songwriter has been writing and releasing material under his own name since the early 2000s. Most recently, he brought in a heft of other musicians to help expand upon his material in Liam O’Brien’s Faithless Followers. With the first full-fledged Followers EP slated to be released in August, O’Brien decided to give listeners an early preview of the album by putting out a music video for the first single and title track.
“Nowhere To Go” was written by O’Brien before his move to Milwaukee three years ago. He was living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, but had bounced around Wisconsin, the Western U.S., and Europe before that. The nomadic lifestyle left him feeling a little lost, which comes through in the song’s theme.
“I was on a search for a sense of home. I still have that search and I think I always will—trying to make sense of this life is a tough job,” O’Brien tells Milwaukee Record. “This song finds a sense of home within that search, accepting that it’s always a journey. ‘Nowhere to go’ is not a sad yearning, it’s a simple statement about letting go of any expectations for what ‘home’ might look like.”
Those overriding feelings of confusion and self-exploration are also expressed in the music video for “Nowhere To Go.” It was shot by Cheston Van Huss over the course of three days in Appleton (hell yeah, Jacobs Meat Market!) and O’Brien’s back yard in Milwaukee last month. Adding to performance footage of the eponymous bandleader and his Faithless Followers is imagery of a boy and a man going about their day, which Van Huss says was done “to show the artist at different points in his life in order to illustrate the ever-changing meaning of home, the contrast of youth and old age, and taking pleasure in the passage of time.”