Martin Walker
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Martin Walker

Band Folk Acoustic


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"It's Winter Again, And NY Is Broken"

New York is a ghost town. Maybe not aerially or in the swells of a Midtown crush or the traffic jam of subway bodies. But once you peel back the surface, the city will reveal its desolate veins and haunted hearts. Even the most beautiful streets will carry a tinge of sadness. Every weathered brick and crumbling wall will hint at a sordid story. The third-rail rats and skittish roaches will suggest an underworld just under our feet. It’ll confirm we're the most populous city in America and probably also its loneliest.

Luckily, Martin Walker, a Brooklynite expatriated from London, is a ghost-writer. He sings in the language of the languishing, his voice as deeply steeped in melancholia as his subjects. His album, Nylon, is full of sad, soft-edged elegies. Sometimes, the specters are implied in weighty verses like, “Remorse is for the bees, my friend/ Regret is for the orchard/ This fruit has gone to ferment now/ We’re drunk but not hung over.” At other moments, they’re practically literal, such as on the title track. There, Walker’s daughter Dorothy sings of London Bridge falling down in a way that feels unsettling and eerie. The remaining songs split the difference, but they're almost all overcast with the looming shadows of death, finality, mortality and farewells.

Walker’s forthcoming about the other ghosts that inform his work, that is, the lingering influence of what came before. He cites Lou Reed’s Berlin as a guiding force and readily and rightfully compares his sound to Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. Like those men, he has a tendency to position himself as an outsider and an isolationist, a fellow observer of fallen angels. Like them, he writes at times of women, alcohol and politics, but what resonates most loudly is the deep voice and the deeper depression.

If New York is a deserted island full of eight million people, what hope does one man have? Walker, as if to stem the tide of surrender, does admit, “This fervent atheist does pray.” But throughout Nylon, the darkness still reliably finds its way in, via crevices and keyholes, up fire escapes and transmitted between lips. It sets an ideal mood for these slow-burning night-songs, where every minor chord strikes a nerve and the piano always sounds possessed. - nerdlitter (music blog)


Full length album "nylon" released July 2007

"I Never Told You This" (nylon) national airplay on XM Radio's The Loft

"Say Goodbye" (nylon) national airplay on XM Radio's The Loft

"The Death of Socrates" (nylon) streaming airplay on Live365 Cracklin' Radio

"Blouse Roumaine" (nylon) streaming airplay on Live365 Cracklin' Radio

"The Death of Socrates" (nylon) has streaming airplay on Radio JAXN.

"Fools" (nylon) has streaming airplay on Radio JAXN.

Full album available for streaming play on LastFM.

(several other radio stations have requested CDs)



“I don’t like myself much sometimes…” so says Martin Walker, and which of us hasn’t felt that way from time to time? This line strikes up the chorus to an unlikely love song recounting Walker’s reaction to his wife’s post-partum depression. Whereas you or I may tell no one about our self-loathing, Walker unflinchingly turns it into art. “I was afraid that you might do / what a part of me hoped you might do,” Walker confesses, but with such exquisite honesty and melodic beauty that the listener feels this truth as something uplifting and supportive. Walker relieves us of some of our existential load; it’s OK to feel worthless now and then, he tells us.

Walker’s deft melodies and direct, sophisticated lyrics are hallmarks of his songwriting. Always surprising, Walker takes us on journeys that are at once entirely personal and universal. The Death of Socrates, another cut from his new album – nylon – is, on one level, a song about the last few minutes of the philosopher Socrates’ life, right before he drinks down the poison. But it is so much more; while Socrates evidently felt no anguish at the prospect of his death, calling for the poison earlier than the allotted time, “I’m in no rush” Walker wryly reflects “got some things I’d like to do before I’m belly up.” (His interest in things philosophical comes as little surprise when one learns that Walker has published a book of practical philosophy – LIFE! Why We Exist… And What We Must Do to Survive.)

Walker draws from many styles and genres; nylon is cut from coherent sonic cloth but one hears the influences of British and American folk, alternative rock, classical piano and film noir. Born near Liverpool in the North of England, Walker now lives in New York where he plays regularly in the city’s downtown clubs. Musically, whichever way he heads, one knows that it will forge a path in a new direction. In Walker’s words again: “So I moved myself out / left a suitcase / in which neatly I folded / my mortal remains.”