*Originally published for The Generator's Tipping Point blog (19/9/12)
Oxford singer-songwriter Richard Walters is one of those musicians with the ‘that voice’ effect; it has warm familiarity, ecclesiastical clarity and a gravity of tone that you cannot help but completely resign to. This autumn sees the release of his second album, Regret Less, following widespread praise from The Guardian, The Fly and Uncut for his debut LP, The Animal (2009).
The lead single from Walter’s new fan-funded album, ‘The Escape Artist’, shows off the workings of a classic songwriter, blessed as he is with a vocal range as agile as fellow Oxfordian Thom Yorke’s. Walters may not favour the forthcoming comparison, but the crystal-clear quality of his voice is also not unlike Tom Chaplin’s of Keane.
It’s fairly unusual to hear such basic and raw instrumentation during an age of heavy synth/beats-driven music and excessively layered ‘nu-folk’ balladry. Clean guitar and hushed violins run alongside Walter’s metaphors about the pains of love, but he does not overindulge in superfluous crescendos like all the Mumfords and Sons of late. In fact, the track’s safe composition forces you to focus on the lyrics and the dexterity of Walter’s voice – at once fragile and powerful, discreet and arresting.
Keep your eyes peeled for him playing at some charming little venues around the country this month, as well as the expected release date of his new album Regret Less on 15 October.
*Today's Generator tip comes courtesy of Matt Marlow (KYEO.tv).