The first thought that comes to mind when most people listen or think of music is how it relates to themselves. After all, the listener is the biggest consumer and a large majority of people go out in search of music that they enjoy in one way or another. However, there is an entirely different side to music and that comes from the perspective of the artist. Based out of Reading, indie-folk singer/songwriter James Walker has spent the past eighteen months crafting a collection of songs that span the on-goings of his life and personal experiences — from love and heartbreak to finding his true identity and celebrity stalkers. It’s this aspect and facet of reality that when combined with melodies make for a truly inspirational and fully realized listen with his debut album, English Bones.
The album opens with “Weathered,” which immediately takes its listeners on a harmonious driven journey of the heartaches of a break up. The album continues with pure and delicate melodies in tracks like “Lullaby,” and “Casualty.” Walker picks up the tempo in “2009” adding a bubbly and vibrant feel to it. One of my personal favorites, “Abyss” starts out slow and soothing, surprising you with a sudden step in tempo and steady beats on the drums. The album draws to an end with “Kreuzberg,” with echoing vocals and soft guitar strums complimented by calming sounds of the piano.
With raw and honest lyrics and warm and heartfelt vibes, Walker paints us a beautiful picture of his past 18 months of experiences and emotion with English Bones. Coupled with charming, well balanced vocals that shine throughout every song, his passion as a musician is portrayed brilliantly and showcases everything that he is about. This is truly music that is personal for not just the listener, but also the creator, both aspects of which are vividly on display throughout the album as every track takes an approach lyrically and musically towards being cohesive for the total package. With this compositional direction, the songs feel almost intertwined with one another and provide a soothing listening experience that wistfully lingers around the eardrum, easily able to draw in fans of any genre and leaving people wondering what’s coming next.
After just recently wrapping up a European tour with Matt Phillips, Walker will be joining Phillips once again for an East Coast tour here in the U.S. this next spring. Be on the look out for any near by dates, and follow Walker on Facebook to stay up to date with his upcoming adventures.