Tuesday 28 January 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Richard Walters - 'Golden Veins'

It is always a joy to write about artists based in Oxford who I discovered when I was first setting up the blog, heading to as many gigs as possible and soaking up the local music scene. One of my favourite local artists at the time was songwriter Richard Walters, who I think first came to my attention through his band Liu Bei. I was lucky to run the door for the album launch show for his last record A.M. back in 2016 - it feels like a lifetime ago and I'm really excited to hear that Richard has just announced his fifth studio album, Golden Veins, due for release on May 8th via Cooking Vinyl (pre-order here.)

Lead single Kintsugi is slightly psychedelic, an exciting first taste of the upcoming record. It uses the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery (hence the golden veins of the album title) as a metaphor for a few things - his relationship with his wife, the very nature of being human and his newfound sense of creativity and inspiration. He explains "when she and I got together ten years ago, I was a mess; I was taking too many drugs, drinking too much, not living as well as I should, and as a result I felt very fragmented. I was broken and she put me back together. But it's also about rediscovering the joy in life and music again. Kintsugi is an artform that highlights imperfections and for me, when I meet new people, I'm always relieved to find out that they've got flaws too. Those small cracks make us more interesting and stronger." 

Having experienced "something of a writer's roadblock" before the release of his previous album, the news that he and his wife were expecting a baby came as something of a push to create - "I just had to do what I knew, what I hoped I was good at. I went slightly mad around that time, pushing myself to write more, record more, network more and make it all line up. And it did; that was the start of a truly creatively fulfilling time in my life." Advice from Trent Dabbs on a writing trip to Nashville served as equally important - to make something that you'd love to listen to. Richard explains that "that idea of shutting out the potential audience or music supervisor or critic and just writing a record that makes your heart beat a little faster hit me hard." 

Returning to the UK, he considered the albums in his collections that had been formative for him, beginning to formulate ideas. Track ideas went back and forth with producer Patrick J Pearson (of Dry The River) and the result is Golden Veins.

You can catch Richard Walters on a mini UK tour to celebrate the album release - tickets here.

19th May: Castle, Manchester
20th: Jericho, Oxford
22nd: Louisiana, Bristol

Follow Richard Walters - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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