Video Premiere: Emily Afton’s “Running Out of Time” and the Brutality of Love

Emily Afton © 2023
Emily Afton © 2023
Love dies a cinematic death in Emily Afton’s “Running Out of Time,” a (literally) breathtaking eruption of alt-pop-infused passion and pain.
Stream: “Running Out of Time” – Emily Afton




Emily Afton’s new music video comes with a trigger warning – “this video contains depictions of blood, violence, and heartbreak” – and that last word could not be more truthful; love dies a cinematic death in “Running Out of Time,” a (literally) breathtaking eruption of alt-pop-infused passion and pain. We can be so cruel to those we care the most about – and through sleek, seductive sonics, brutally raw lyrics, a shiver-inducing vocal performance and a captivating visual, Afton channels love’s worst moments into a visceral, vulnerable, and all-consuming upheaval.

Running Out of Time - Emily Afton
Running Out of Time – Emily Afton
Who are you, did you come to be my teacher
You know I love a good maze but it’s deeper
Deeper than what’s on the face of this
Why are you making me chase you, is
Is this a game, ‘cause I think
I’m running out of lives to play
You’re running out of face,
you’re running out of time

I’m losing all my grace,
we’re running out of tries

If we can’t get it right now
What makes you think that
things will change themselves

I’m running out of phases,
we’re running out of time

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the Meg Darbourne/No Storage Productions-directed music video for “Running Out of Time,” Emily Afton’s thrilling third single of the year (following recent tracks “Make” and “Free,” each of which highlights another side to her multi-faceted artistry). A multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter whose roots extend throughout California – from San Diego, to Los Angeles, to Oakland – Afton has been stunning our ears and moving our hearts for the better part of seven years now.

In premiering Afton’s protest song “The Veil” in 2020 (part of her EP Consideration, released later that year), Atwood praised her for reminding us, through music, that silence can be deafening. “Emily Afton’s music is as catchy as it is serious,” we wrote, further commending her thoughtful perspective and infectious style.

THE POLITICAL PROTEST IN EMILY AFTON’S OUTSPOKEN “THE VEIL”

:: PREMIERE ::



Matters of the heart feel like a far cry from matters of social injustice and oppression, but Afton tackles the splintering of intimate relationships with the same intensity and vigor with which she attacked America’s political machine. “Running Out of Time” is a sonically and emotionally charged outpouring from love’s darkest depths. Heated drums pulse an urgent beat and cool synths swell with ethereal grace as Afton spills her soul, dwelling in the wreckage of a once-loving partnership.

Why are you making me chase you?” she sings, evoking the cold shoulders of a love scorned. “Is this a game, ‘cause I think I’m running out of lives to play…” Later on, she challenges her partner, point-blank: “Baby where do you go when you go from me? The words we shared are filled with lead and they are sinking in.” The weight of the world is falling all around, intensified by an electrifying rhythm section that all-too-effortlessly brings those churning emotions to life.

Baby where do you go when you go from me
The words we shared are filled
with lead and they are sinking in

We keep circling round and round
Darling I’m about to fall to my knees
I’m trying but I’m floundering
Baby how do we find the key
You’re running out of face, you’re running out of time
I’m losing all my grace, we’re running out of tries
If we can’t get it right now
What makes you think that things will change themselves
I’m running out of phases, we’re running out of time
Emily Afton © 2023
Emily Afton © 2023



“‘Running out of Time’ is the third single I’ve released from my batch of new music, and is about fighting for love while watching it die,” Afton tells Atwood Magazine. “It was made for blasting, or for crying on the dance floor with the open, bleeding heart that you surely have if are going through a queer breakup.”

As she explains, this song is, quite literally, years in the making.

“The idea for ‘Running out of Time’ (or ‘ROOT,’ as we have been calling it in our demo-ing throughout the years) began in 2019 in my home studio, making demo after demo in pursuit of capturing what I was hearing in my head. I brought one of its many demo iterations to my producer team (Peter Labberton, James Jackson, and Patrick Aguirre) during lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, during which we had decided to make an album. We worked on the production for this song for over a year, and used our favorite hyper nostalgic female pop musicians (like Robyn and Lykke Li) as our guides and inspiration.”

“One of the most exciting parts [in terms of production on this song] are the floor toms that come in on the choruses, which were made by James [Jackson], which are an overt nod to Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers.” I just love how it sounds, and how it walks the line of being this anthemic pop song, but with lots of subtleties and uniqueness too. I have always dreamed of hearing this song played in a stadium (with the violins and everything). I think it would be incredibly epic, although I’m sure that’s how every musician feels about everything. But for ‘Running out of Time,’ I really do think so!”

Girl
I don’t know why we always seem to go around
Girl
I don’t know why we keep coming back to this ground
Girl
Baby I’m holding on to the one thing I can’t allow
Girl
But I don’t want to let go so I’ll just keep running
(why do you always keep running back into my life)
Emily Afton © 2023
Emily Afton © 2023



As previously mentioned, Afton’s video comes with a trigger warning. She elaborates, “This music video contains graphic images of violence and blood, presented metaphorically to convey an artistic message about the pain we cause one another in relationships. Viewer discretion is advised.”

Directed by Meg Darbourne of San Diego-based women-led production company No Storage Productions and starring queer podcaster/influencer, Georgia Bridgers alongside Emily Dauer, the “Running Out of Time” music video is best described as a micro-thriller-esque experience.

“I wanted to tell the story of a relationship ending in a way that I hadn’t done before,” Afton says. “I had no idea we would take the video in the [gory] direction that it went, but I was going through a break up in real life; ending a 7-year relationship with my girlfriend whom I loved and I just didn’t know how else to talk about the pain I was feeling. I guess sometimes you need the drama of a micro-thriller to depict what words cannot.”

“How I met Meg and Sonali (from No Storage Productions) was pretty cool. We met on the red carpet at the San Diego International Film Festival where I had just performed and where they had a short film premiering. They came up to me and told me they wanted to make a music video for me and the rest is history I guess. Working with them [NSP] was a really significant turning point for me because I was in the middle of some really big life transitions as I said, and they really believed in me. They believed in my project so much that it sort of jolted me back into believing in myself. I also loved their work and their mission to “tell coming-of-age stories through the female gaze.” I thought it would be really important to have women, and queer directors tell this story with me.”

“We shot the music video in Topanga Canyon in the woods, and centered the story of a toxic relationship between two women who, in spite of loving one another, were stuck in a cycle of causing pain and then coming back for more. We drew inspiration for the video from horror movies like Pearl, working with amazing queer actors, Georgia Bridgers and Emily Dauer. Incorporating fake blood and stab wounds for metaphor’s sake, the video is theatrical, dramatic, and unlike anything I’ve ever worked on!”

Emily Afton © 2023
Emily Afton © 2023



Dynamic, dramatic, intimate, and impassioned, “Running Out of Time” is sure to enchant and enthrall audiences.

Once again, Emily Afton makes our hearts beat a little faster as she evokes love’s utter brutality, exploring the ways in which we so callously and cruelly hurt others through indifference and apathy. It’s true that sometimes feelings run cold; the flame dies, the well dries up, the light goes out. That’s no excuse for a literal (or metaphorical) stab in the back.

Be kind to your lovers and ex-lovers alike – and stream Emily Afton’s cinematic “Running Out of Time” music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

You’re running out of face,
you’re running out of time

I’m losing all my grace,
we’re running out of tries
(running back into my life)

If we can’t get it right now
What makes you think that
things will change themselves

I’m running out of phases,
we’re running out of time

— —

:: stream/purchase Running Out of Time here ::
:: connect with Emily Afton here ::
Stream: “Running Out of Time” – Emily Afton



— — — —

Running Out of Time - Emily Afton

Connect to Emily Afton on
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © 2023
art © Bridget Taylor 

:: Stream Emily Afton ::



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