Walter Martin Shares New Album 'The World At Night'
Renowned songwriter and Walkmen co-founder Walter Martin released today his critically acclaimed new album The World At Night via Ile Flottante Music. Produced by multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (The National, Hiss Golden Messenger, The War On Drugs), the album is Martin's most richly orchestrated and grandly cinematic collection to date, as well as his most poignant. Dedicated to his dear friend and late Jonathan Fire*Eater bandmate Stewart Lupton, it balances soul-baring intimacy with sophisticated arrangements as they walk a delicate tightrope between despair and hope, faith and doubt, security and uncertainty.
With sweeping strings and lavish horns fleshing out his spare, understated vocal delivery, The World At Night calls to mind everything from Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits to Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson. Lupton's memory looms large on this record and his spirit informs the music in ways both explicit and implicit. "I just couldn't ignore that when I was writing the record," Martin told Noisey. "So as I was working on stuff, that's what I was thinking about a lot. We've done so much together, and creatively we really grew up together, became musicians together. It was just something that I felt, directly and indirectly, made its way into a lot of the songs.
Along with Kaufman, Martin gathered an all-star cast of musicians which includes Sam Kassirer and Zach Hickman (Josh Ritter), Stuart Bogie (Arcade Fire, The Hold Steady), Rob Moose (Bon Iver, The National), and pianist Thomas Bartlett (Glen Hansard, Norah Jones). Album opener "October" sets the tone from the outset, pairing exuberant music and ominous lyrics about fate and mortality. It's followed by the title track "The World At Night (For Stew)" which grapples with the confusion of loss and draws much of its imagery from a collage that Stewart made that now hangs above Walter's writing desk. In a recent interview with Billboard, he stated, "I'm not really a religious person, but I do believe in ghosts and in magic and in plenty of beautiful stuff that I can't see. Writing this album - and especially this song - was an effort to get closer to that stuff. And to Stew."
The World At Night is Walter's fifth solo effort and follows the release of 2018's Reminisce Bar & Grill which he first unveiled during a performance at NPR Music's Tiny Desk. Martin is also an award-winning composer/songwriter with work that has appeared in the Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated film Missing Link, Zach Galifianakis' Netflix film Between Two Ferns, and a series of music videos for Cheerios designed to help foster conversations with kids about inclusion, diversity, and kindness which won a Clio Award and a Bronze Award at Cannes. Last week, Martin attended Sundance Film Festival to perform with The National's Matt Berningerfor his forthcoming solo album which includes a couple songs he helped co-write.
02) The World at Night (for Stew)
03) Little Summer Fly
04) To The Moon
05) Hey Joe
06) That's All I Need
07) First Thing I Remember
09) The Soldier
10) Goodbye Banana Boat