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Walter Martin releasing LP dedicated to late Jonathan Fire*Eater bandmate Stewart Lupton (stream a track)

Walter Martin
album artwork by Christopher Corr

Jonathan Fire*Eater, the highly influential but often overlooked ’90s New York Rock Revival band who included three future members of The Walkmen, have been finally getting their due since musicians like Karen O raved about their influence in Meet Me In The Bathroom and Third Man Records reissued their material. Sadly, frontman Stewart Lupton isn’t around for all the re-appraisal, as he passed away in 2018. And in Stewart’s Memory, his former Jonathan Fire*Eater bandmate (and Walkmen member) Walter Martin is now releasing a new solo album.

The album is called The World At Night, and it’s dedicated to Stewart. Speaking about the album and lead single “The World at Night (for Stew),” Walter told Billboard, “‘The World at Night’ takes place inside a collage that my friend Stewart made. Stew died last year and his collage hangs above my desk where I write everyday. I’m not really a religious person but I do believe in ghosts and in magic and in plenty of beautiful stuff that I can’t see. Writing this album — and especially this song — was an effort to get closer to that stuff. And to Stew.”

The album was produced by The National/Craig Finn collaborator Josh Kaufman, and the new single is more of a delicate, melancholic song than you might expect from Walter’s solo material. Its gorgeous arrangements are fleshed out by strings, horns, and piano, and Walter gives a wearied, poetic performance that almost sounds a little like Leonard Cohen. Listen below.

The album comes out January 31 via Ile Flottante Music, and Walter will play a hometown show the next day at Brooklyn’s Sultan Room (2/1). Ticket info coming soon. It’s Walter’s only upcoming show at the moment.

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