On their sophomore album, “On Flat Earth”, Phoenix band Herbert Walker encapsulates the claustrophobia of a torrid Arizona summer.
Peep their brand new music video for ‘Eat Forever’, premiering exclusively – right here at The Deli.
“Summer’s here,” perks lead singer Francis Bartolomeo on ‘Digging Up Worms’. The optimism in his voice is palpable. Visions of cold ones enjoyed in lawn chairs out back, and courting cuties at the community pool.
“…and this house is a balloon!” His intonation quickly backpedals, seeming to crumple his latest list of shining ideas, tossing it to the overflowing waste bin in the corner.
Anyone who’s from suffered from June to September in Arizona knows temperature and ambition share an inverse relationship.
So it’s refreshing that Francis, the band’s sole lyricist, is able to rival the desert’s dry heat with his parched perspectives.
Francis admits he dug deeper, emotionally, on this record compared to their first.
His anecdotes are teeming with very personal details – about change, complacency, and navigating the stormy torrents which flow between an innocent lust and a deep love.
Luckily, his musings are abstract enough to safeguard their true intrinsic code. Each line is hieroglyphic. But if we crudely trace the edges of his painstaking etchings, we decipher a story that’s oddly reflective. Uniquely our own.
The record invades our neural hard drive, digging through our most sensitive folders, and extracting melancholies we filed away long ago.
Where Francis’ words ground us, facing the humility of our realities, the brilliant instrumentation of this record sends our imagination soaring towards the cosmos.
The sounds of “On Flat Earth” are immaculate. Every member of the band flourishes on this album.
Greg Lloyd lays the trumpet down with silky precision. He also mastered the record. Francis says he’s the “most adult of the bunch”.
Vance Nowe’s hefty bass lines assert a serious tone on the tracks, while heading groove duties. He jumps in on keys in a couple songs, cementing his presence in the deepest layers of the tunes.
Sam Lekander, the second founding member of Herbert Walker, shoulders tempos with thoughtful precision. His percussion isn’t bombastic. It doesn’t need to be. He conducts the drums with care, weaving in and out of tracks with expert touch. Sam’s influence blossoms on ‘Balcony’, ‘Doggo’, and especially on ‘Long Arms’ – the album’s lengthiest track.
JJ Hernandez (guitar and keys) contorts vibrations, ensnaring you in sonic bliss. His sounds are sandy feet dangling off a creaky boardwalk. Time spent scouring the flowers for friendly critters. And snuggling with your pup in the grass. All packaged into a gorgeous, psychedelic parcel.
Herbert Walker’s “On Flat Earth” sprouted from incessant jam sessions, contagious camaraderie, and an apt towards trying new things.
This album is the score to our vivid daydreams, projected in technicolor behind our eyelids.
Enough droning. Give the record a listen. We highly suggest it.
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*all photos taken by The Deli, inspired by Herbert Walker’s album ‘On Flat Earth’