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Walter Martin Announces New Album 'The Bear' & Releases Lead Single

Walter Martin announced today his new album The Bear will release on March 25th.

Walter Martin Announces New Album 'The Bear' & Releases Lead Single

Beloved songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and Walkmen co-founder Walter Martin announced today his new album The Bear will release on March 25th through his imprint Ile Flottante Music.

His sixth studio album since embarking on his prolific solo journey just under a decade ago, The Bear is a heartbreaking collection of autobiographical story-songs that Martin described as "the kind of album I've been building towards for my entire career." The lead single/title track "The Bear" is out now. Inspired by the myth of a blind bear, the song tells a story about the past, the present, and the future brought to life with humor and real-life detail.

"This song was inspired by the myth of a blind bear on my road," stated Walter. "It's an autobiographical story about trying to find hope and magic in an increasingly dark world."

Written during last year's cold, bleak winter in an old 1800s schoolhouse in upstate New York that Martin converted into a studio, The Bear is an unexpectedly warm and inviting collection, one focused on growth and family and the power of human connection. The songs are gentle and engaging, with spacious arrangements often centered around fingerpicked electric guitars and romantic piano flourishes from Oscar-nominated Minari composer Emile Mosseri. Martin's idiosyncratic vocals are similarly amiable, delivered with the loose, casual demeanor of an old friend who's pleased as punch you decided to stop by.

Like much of Martin's catalog, The Bear is chock full of delightfully vivid imagery and fueled by an infectious love of language, but this time around the lyrics leave more to the imagination, stepping away from explicit narrative forms in favor of more abstract and intuitive streams of consciousness. What ultimately emerges is a lifetime's worth of deeply personal snapshots and reflections all jumbled together, a family photo album dumped out on the floor and gathered back up into a swirl of moments and memories that manage to tell a million different stories all at once.

The Bear features an all-star cast of musicians including Mosseri, guitarist Harrison Whitford (Phoebe Bridgers, Matt Berninger), drummer Josh Adams (Beck, Devendra Banhart), Eric D. Johnson (Bonny Light Horseman), frequent collaborator Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, Hiss Golden Messenger, The National), and keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Craig Finn) who also mixed the album.

The resulting songs walk an artful line between folk intimacy and classical sophistication as they contemplate life, death, and everything in between. "I don't think I've had the nerve to be this honest, this autobiographical before," continued Martin. "But more than anything I've ever written, these songs explain who I am and why I make this stuff."

Watch the official lyric video here:

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