Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SONGS FOR WALTER Meet Me At The Empire

Grandparents: for most people a fusty link to bygone times or an irregular visiting obligation? Not for Laurie Hulme of Golden Glow and Beat The Radar. Not only has he named solo project Songs For Walter as a tribute to his grandfather, all the tracks on this debut six track EP are about his grandparents: lead track ‘Meet Me At The Empire’ chronicles their first date, ‘Flowers On The Windowsill’ is simply about spending time with the eponymous relative. Rather than sepia-tinged nostalgia however, these songs are breezy slices of summery acoustic folk-pop. What Hulme brilliantly captures on that opening song is the fresh romance of first love not dusty, wistful memories.

Elsewhere it is the happy vivid experience of summer holidays (the ukulele-led ‘Tin Can’) or wedding day enchantment (the chiming love song ‘Purple Blue’). This is not a generation rejecting the elderly or visiting their past through a filter but someone in the present bringing their lives and feelings to life with fond affection. The only element that is pure nostalgia is the interchangeable photographic sleeve.

‘Joint World Record Holders’ (“for the most days out”) opens with sampled voice (his actual grandfather’s?) before a sweetly tender song that praises the couple’s obsessive predilection for day trips. The gentle triumph of this EP is not only fondly capturing such moments and habits but turning them into hugely likeable, memorable and modestly to-the-point tunes. Song-writing of brevity and benevolence that deserves visiting – and not out of duty. Out on Red Deer Club on 23 April preceded by an EP launch gig on 20 April at The Art Of Tea.

Songs For Walter Meet Me At The Empire [BUY]

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