Track Premiere: Nature’s Neighbor — ‘Secret Songs / Grey Skies’

Posted: by The Editor

Nature’s Neighbor is the name of the musical project from prolific Chicago songwriter Mike Walker. Last year, Walker teamed up with fellow Chicago musicians Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Sen Morimoto, and Seth Engel, among others, to release Ur, a beautifully dizzying collection of songs that drifted between meditative freak folk and intricate psychedelic jazz. Recorded at Pallet Sound with Seth Engel, Walker’s upcoming album Wind City Airport is one of the most straightforward and uninhibited releases of his career, employing shuffling americana and plaintive arrangements of guitar and piano to evoke the driftless feeling of being trapped at the airport.

Today we’re premiering “Secret Songs / Grey Skies”, the albums ruminative midpoint. Walker’s matter-of-fact vocal delivery is in step with the tracks somber atmosphere, his musings gently swirling into a pit of melancholia. About halfway through the song it switches gears entirely though, mutating into bouncy alt-country before dissolving into its euphoric final act. At nearly six minutes in length, the song’s hodgepodge structure made up of its many moving parts showcases Walker’s capacity to incorporate his myriad of influences seamlessly into one another. About the song, Walker said “It’s the centerpiece of the album. I think all my albums have one of those kinds of tracks, I always need to have one song that sums up the entire album.”

Stream it below:

Wind City Airport is out 1/29


Michael Brooks // @nomichaelbrooks 

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