Video Premiere: Walter Etc. – ‘Punk With an Ex’

Posted: by The Editor

Over the past decade, Walter Etc. (formerly known as Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra,) have become one of the most reliable groups in the DIY scene. Songwriter Dustin Hayes has long had a gift for memorable one-liners and hyper-specific reference points, which thankfully remains in tact, albeit a little more harrowing than usual, on the band’s upcoming album, Dark Comedy Performance Piece of My Life, out 3/27 via Making New Enemies. Recorded with Ian Farmer, (Slaughter, Beach Dog/Modern Baseball,) the album finds Hayes attempting to reckon with all the uncertainty that comes from a breakup, running the gauntlet of emotions over the course of thirteen tracks with an unflinching honesty and sincerity, making for some of Walter Etc.’s most vulnerable music to date.

On “Punk With an Ex,” the album’s witty and melancholic lead single, Hayes details his own experiences only a couple of weeks removed from the breakup. It’s a realistic portrayal of someone who’s trying to get their shit together so they can enjoy the mundanities of everyday life again, but there’s a dark cloud hanging over their head at all times. Tied together by Hayes’ almost stream of consciousness vocal delivery, the song gives us a microscopic view of his innermost thoughts—moments like the beginning where in between riding his bike and ordering Mexican food Hayes wonders whether or not he should call his ex. 

Later on in the song when he’s hanging out with his neighbors, they ask him where his girlfriend has been and when he’s going to propose, so he lies and tells them that she’s on a work trip. After awhile, you get tired of recounting your breakup to everyone you see, and having to deal with the proceeding awkward silence and onslaught of fruitless, but well meaning, sympathy that follows. Hayes is smart enough to know that time is the only thing that will mend his broken heart and “Punk With an Ex” is a compelling document of what it looks like to try and piece yourself back together again.

Stream it below:

Pre-order Dark Comedy Performance Piece of My Life on LP with an accompanying lyric zine & cassette (via Slang Church) here.


Michael Brooks // @nomichaelbrooks 

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