‘Big Brother is watching, but he’s also listening. Turning Orwellian concepts of observation on their head with blissful folk-pop abandon, get ready for a generous helping of Earwigging – Songs For Walter’s sixth free download and a teaser of the forthcoming new album, reminding us all that no matter who or where we are, we’re not alone.
Inspired by Edward Snowden’s revelations of the global surveillance programs being carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), a haunting reality lies beneath the track’s meandering melody as Laurie, Songs For Walter’s significant self, explains; “I was juxtaposing this idea of surveillance with that of people feeling isolated or lonely. It’s ironic - we’re often told a lot of people in Western societies are lonely but they’re actually being watched and listened to all the time. I find these revelations very troubling, the idea of being monitored all the time is the stuff of nightmares.”
Buffing the dark subject matter’s silver lining, Earwigging’s bittersweet sound resonates with dreamy, lo-fi tropes that wander like the traditional guitar sounds of John Fahey, the youthful exuberance of Johnny Flynn, and slacker outsider sounds of Daniel Johnston. Featuring the drumming expertise of Andrew Cheetham (Jane Weaver, Kiran Leonard) Earwigging was also mixed with the talent and precision of Working For A Nuclear Free City’s established film and advertising composer, Phil Kay. “It was great to have Phil on board,” exclaims Laurie. “He gave the song a chillwave quality with a kind of Panda Bear vibe I hadn’t expected but really enjoy.”
Following praise from BBC 6music’s Tom Ravenscroft and Lauren Laverne, Songs For Walter’s recently released self-titled debut album set the sonic wheels in motion. Embarking upon a full European tour for the very first time, the past 12 months have helped inspire a move from songs previously shaped by the influence of tales told by Laurie’s grandfather to his own views on the world. Living the life of the artist on the road, Songs for Walter remains staunchly DIY; harking back to the days of the nomadic musician when the likes of Hendrix wouldn’t stop for longer than a quick cig break, Songs For Walter’s travels have seen countless miles clocked up in a rental van, friends made, new places found, and many Italian escapades had, from dimly-lit backstreets to barn parties in ancient towns.
In today’s 100mph world, Songs For Walter is making music as it’s meant to be made. Songs that grow from experience, provoke thoughts and yet, through a ferocious work ethic, continue to evolve with their own timeless quality. Earwigging is just the next part of Songs For Walter’s ever-expanding world, and once again eyes and ears will be opened, pulling everyone along for the ride.
Another great album - dean wareham, joanna gruesome, lonely tourist, dorotea, the chills, manhattan love suicides & spearmint are all highlights but the whole lot is pretty darn great really martin kiosk