On His New Single, Seth Walker Encourages Us to Look "Inside" (premiere)

Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins / Courtesy of Calabro Music Media

Inspired by an artful trip to Havana, Americana artist Seth Walker basks in trippy, vintage blues throughout his cool new single "Inside".

Inspired by a life largely spent between New Orleans and Nashville with a Havana stint somewhere in the middle, Seth Walker's forthcoming album Are You Open? paints as broad and atmospheric a picture as its title might imply. Like much of the music of the Wood Brothers, whose drummer, Jano Rix, produced the album, Walker's latest hones in on sinking into a distinct rhythm as much as it does telling a story. It also comes across as a personal exploration for Walker—one in which he spreads out his arms and inquires of the world what genuine openness feels like.

The work is clearly Walker's most adventurous from a sonic perspective, as well. "Inside" riffs off of vintage blues grit beside more modern illusory manipulations to create a cool, hazy atmosphere that's easily dance-worthy through its mystique. Walker exacts his capabilities as a frontman as he glides effortlessly across a commanding chorus, sinking into an unrelenting groove from start to finish. Animated and produced by Gary Dorsey at Pixel Peach Media, its music video is just as mystifying.

Walker tells PopMatters, "'Inside' was originally inspired after a trip to Havana, Cuba. I was so taken by how much soul was in the music, art, culture, and people of that country. I bought a painting from a local artist picturing a man holding an umbrella, but the figure's silhouetted body was lined with raindrops on the inside of his body. A striking image that left a mark on me, as I feel we all battle a beast inside to some extent. The quest for that sweet inner peace has gotta come from within. This track was also inspired by a dear friend of mine who suffered from depression, and much of this message is a call to lend a hand and send that love to someone who might be struggling below the surface—on the inside. I originally wrote the demo over an iPhone voice memo, and my producer Jano Rix and I liked that vibe so much, we ended up using that as the bed for this track. It has a little '70s Dr. John vibe to my ears. My friend Gary Dorsey with Pixel Peach completed the circle of this tune with this beautiful, dream-like and evocative video."

Are You Open? is set to release on 15 February. It is available for pre-order now via Royal Potato Family.





Political Cartoonist Art Young Was an Aficionado of all Things Infernal

Fantagraphics' new edition of Inferno takes Art Young's original Depression-era critique to the Trump Whitehouse -- and then drags it all to Hell.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

OK Go's Emotional New Ballad, "All Together Now", Inspired by Singer's Bout with COVID-19

Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go discusses his recent bout with COVID-19, how it impacted his family, and the band's latest pop delight, "All Together Now", as part of our Love in the Time of Coronavirus series.


The Rules Don't Apply to These Nonconformist Novelists

Ian Haydn Smith's succinct biographies in Cult Writers: 50 Nonconformist Novelists You Need to Know entice even seasoned bibliophiles.


Siren Songs' Meredith Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels Debut As a Folk Duo (album stream + interview)

Best friends and longtime musical collaborators Meredith Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels team up as Siren Songs for the uplifting folk of their eponymous LP.


Buzzcocks' 1993 Comeback 'Trade Test Transmissions' Showed Punk's Great Survivors' Consistency

PopMatters' appraisal of Buzzcocks continues with the band's proper comeback LP, Trade Test Transmissions, now reissued on Cherry Red Records' new box-set, Sell You Everything.


Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu the Fudgemunk Enlighten and Enliven with 'Ocean Bridges'

Ocean Bridges is proof that genre crossovers can sound organic, and that the term "crossover" doesn't have to come loaded with gimmicky connotations. Maybe we're headed for a world in which genres are so fluid that the term is dropped altogether from the cultural lexicon.


Claude McKay's 'Romance in Marseille' Is Ahead of Its Time

Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille -- only recently published -- pushes boundaries on sexuality, disability, identity -- all in gorgeous poetic prose.


Christine Ott Brings the Ondes Martenot to New Heights with the Mesmerizing 'Chimères'

France's Christine Ott, known for her work as an orchestral musician and film composer, has created a unique new solo album, Chimères, that spotlights an obscure instrument.


Man Alive! Is a Continued Display of the Grimy-Yet-Refined Magnetism of King Krule

Following The OOZ and its accolades, King Krule crafts a similarly hazy gem with Man Alive! that digs into his distinct aesthetic rather than forges new ground.


The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.


ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.


Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.