by Philip Moss
There are a whole abundance of reasons why a person may turn to songwriting. But if you decide to spend time with Sarah Walk’s second record, Another Me, it very quickly dawns that taking to song was a must, rather than a desire, for the Minneapolis native.
Unravel is the record’s battle cry. ‘Nothing’s hurt me more than men that grew up with no consequences,’ Walk declares – but this isn’t a woman searching for something to say. The desire to challenge institutionalised patriarchy is deep-rooted – a frustration she unfurls from the song’s opening line because she has to. Because it is in her.
But as well denoting the voice, tone, mood, and a taster of some of the subject matter that Walk will guide us through across the record’s eleven tracks, the opener also presents Walk the arranger and the musician. Co-produced with Leo Abrahams (David Byrne, Brian Eno, Wild Beasts), it is a prism of ambient pianos, evocative vocals, and musical interludes that give it the feeling of a song-suite. A passage way into Walk’s world.
Another Me is a deeply emotive record. Yes, her commentary on contemporary society is astute, but when she buries into the self – deep into her psyche, like the counselling sessions from which the record was born – she unleashes a very special weapon. Same Road gives a taste of this, but it Take Me As I Am is where she puts it all on the line; she would rather break than lower her expectations. She will not bend for anyone. ‘Alone, it’s only freedom I can find’ – a partner (be that a friend, a lover, or anyone else who enters her life) must be an equal, and treat her as such; she does not fear the isolation of being on her own.
But as well as the brave, independent mind that is denoted through her lyricism, Walk’s astute ear for melody also really catches. What Do I Want?, Another Me (Fix Myself) and Take Me As I Am appear to be having their own private chorus battle – and the real answer is that they are all as mesmerisingly intoxicating as each other.
Another Me is a powerful statement. An emancipation of deep thinking, self investigation and evaluation – it is a harrowing journey, but one she had to take.
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