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On July 6th, Kartel will release the debut LP from Oxford, England’s Richard Walters, with critics and listeners alike bound to take notice. The Animal was written over a three year span, encompassing all of the emotional peaks and valleys one traverses over such an extended span. Walters’ fragile vocals are exceptionally well paired with the airy, delicate instrumentation throughout; in conjunction, they conjure up the raw, nostalgic verve of The Clientele’s early releases and the nimble mellifluousness of The Middle East‘s restrained compositions.
“Brittle Bones” is the first of The Animal’s twelve tracks, launching the album with a stately, even gorgeous air. An acoustic guitar performs a sweet, slow, gliding dance around which Walters (whose voice also bears a Yorke-ish flair) hangs evanescent curtains of vocal harmonies and piano notes. There is also an adroit build up to “Brittle Bones,” which intensifies inconspicuously, occasionally releasing flushes of unexpected power. Taken as a whole, all of the elements conspire to create a song which is emotional without being wimpy, fragile without being flimsy, and beautiful while packing substance. “Brittle Bones” and the album whence it comes are clear markers of the arrival of a singular musical talent–here’s hoping Walters receives the attention his work merits.