It’s hard to keep up with Richard Walters. The artist is known for working solo and collaboratively and he’s also a prolific songwriter. He is probably best known for his works as one third of the group LYR with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage plus Patrick Pearson. They released their second album The Ultraviolet Age in June this year; Richard also released the album Shapes In My Head under the name Sun Lo, a collaboration with ATTLAS, earlier this year.
Of his numerous collaborations, during lockdown he released Vanishing Point with young German duo Polaroit, interview link. It’s an atmospheric electronic track, at once brooding yet elevating; maybe not a genre he’s generally known for but the track serves as testament to Richard’s ability to shift genres with such ease.
His next solo album, called Murmurate, is poised for release on 17th November via Nettwerk, and there has been a steady release of singles over the past few months. Written in 2022 as the world recalibrated to the tides of change, Murmurate reflects on that very human need for real-world relationships and the importance of meaningful connections with those closest to us.
The work sees Richard lay his emotions out there for us all, exposing his vulnerabilities. Yet there’s a universality to his soul searching and those heartfelt feelings. The latest release from the album is Long Way Down – a soothing and melodious track that sees Richard determined to view life with a positive slant, something that doesn’t always come naturally to him. The breezy vocals and finger-picked guitar style help create a beautifully paced number.
Says Richard of Long Way Down: “It’s an attempt by a sad songwriter to pen something uplifting! I think post lockdown I was more appreciative of the ground I’ve covered in life and happy to acknowledge my successes and joys. It’s easy to forget or even ignore the past and progress.”
Back in May, Richard released Move On, a track that illustrates perfectly his need to examine his own failings and reconnect and make peace with those he loves. It illustrates a pause for reflection after an argument, where ‘things were said that shouldn’t have been’. The instrumentation is pared back, to lend emphasis to the lyrics and Richard’s clear, emotive vocals.
The track is about accepting one’s imperfections. Explains Richard: “In arguments or heated moments I’m the person that loses my cool and then the moment passes, the grievance dilutes and I’m able to gather myself. It’s like I need the release. My wife is the opposite, and this is a song of apology and acceptance of my flaws and inability to sit with negativity too long.”
All tracks on Murmurate were performed and written by Richard Walters, with recording, production, and mixing assistance by Eliot James.
There are also tour dates with Boxer Rebellion – tickets available.
24 Nov – BRISTOL, The Louisiana
25 Nov – OXFORD, Jericho Tavern
29 Nov – MANCHESTER, The Castle Hotel
30 Nov – LONDON, The Grace
Richard Walters New solo album Murmurate release date 17th November 2024