Luke Walker is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter who currently lives in Normal, IL, and his latest release entitled Normal contains music which, in the best way possible, is very far from normal. The beauty of normality seems to be a common theme within his work, nonetheless.
Walker is currently studying music business at Illinois State University on a part-time basis, but music holds the greatest space in his heart. In terms of history and accomplishments in music, Walker has played classical piano from the age of six. In addition, he started playing jazz piano, along with writing his own instrumental piano compositions, way back in early high school.
It wasn’t until college, in 2013, that Walker began to explore more aspects of songwriting, which included lyric-writing, playing and composing on the guitar. Of course, his talents didn’t stop there. He also mastered singing in local bands and school choirs. Music, then, has always been important to Walker. However, at first, he was generally unsatisfied with his original songs’ recordings until he decided to commit to completing and selling an album while learning as much as he could about home recording. He started this four years ago, and his music has certainly benefited from years of work.
His ten-track album, entitled Normal opens with “Slow Down.” which compromises of a tender, sweet, emotive arpeggio that dances ever-so-silently along the octaves of Walker’s piano. As the arpeggio fluctuates between dark, reflective, melancholic vibes and an upbeat, hopeful mood, Walker still manages to keep the overall tender vibe consistent through the opening track. None of the concepts clash with one another and Walker manages to keep the song light, airy, refreshing and, overall, interesting. Instrumental music can often become repetitive and dull rather quickly.
“Keeper” is another piano-based track, but, this time, vocals from Jess Thielsen, accompany the soothing and addictive melody Walker has written and played on the piano. Thielsen sings of a keeper waiting for somebody who doesn’t hear him, crooning in a low, haunting, but silky smooth tone which matches the peaceful, tender, yet powerful tone of Walker’s piano playing. The singer and pianist complement one another on this track, as they both feed off one another’s talent and playing ability. They each understand where the other is coming from and match their performance style.
Electric piano guides the path of “Sunrise” which sounds as close to the sonic representation of a sunrise as a musician could possibly strive to get. Walker’s synthetic piano arpeggio dances jovially to and fro, remaining restrained, peaceful and hopeful. No vocals accompany this track, but it speaks volumes in itself.
Then comes the title track. ‘Normal’ features Amanda Wick, and her voice is a complement to Walker’s piano and his own voice. The pair harmonize; Walker’s deep tone and Wick’s piercing, high-pitched, stunningly-beautiful voice. Both vocalists sing harmonically and tenderly in their own way. I’ve rarely heard power and fragility combined in such a way before, but it creates an addictive end-product, and that’s undeniable. This was a great listen, and I’d recommend you listen to the entire ten-track album.
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