Video of the Week: The Moscow Swing Dance Society is Somehow the Perfect Match for Walter Martin’s Music

Recommended Albums #73


Walter Martin: Arts & Leisure (2016)

Ex-Walkmen singer-songwriter Walter Martin has an easy, whimsical, tongue-in-cheek way with a song that calls to mind people like Jens Lekman and even Paul Simon.

walter-martinArts & Leisure is a travelogue of sorts. With wry specificity Martin takes the listener on a tour of places he’s seen, jobs he’s had and people he’s been, with a love of art at the forefront of much of the album.

I don’t know what’s more of a kick here, the lyrics or the playful, kooky arrangements. Percussion like the sound of coconuts takes you “Down by the Singing Sea”, and “Amsterdam” throws bass harmonica and various whistlie and tinklie things into a rollicking mix that may bring Jacques Brell to mind. Fun!

His solo debut, 2014’s We’re All Young Together was a children’s album for adults–something like They Might Be Giants might offer. But on Arts & Leisure, Martin’s childlike playful high-spiritedness is still intact as he explores a wider world. Truly this is an artist with a refreshingly unique world view.

Listen to: “Down by the Singing Sea”

Listen to: “Jobs I Had Before I Got Rich and Famous”

Listen to: “Amsterdam”

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Songs You May Have Missed #575


Walter Martin feat. Karen O: “Sing 2 Me” (2014)

Ex-Walkmen singer-songwriter Walter Martin’s We’re All Young Together isn’t necessarily a children’s album per se–more a record inspired by his becoming a father. But its songs can be appreciated by any very young child–or anyone whose inner child is still alive and well.

“Sing 2 Me” is a duet with the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O whose lyric typifies the playful tone of the album, marrying it with the fragile, magical twee of acts like the Weepies.

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