Given the state of the world these days, we need all the encouragement we can get. Indie-pop singer-songwriter Jason Walker speaks not only to his experiences but those of others with his warm and sweeping new song. “One Foot,” premiering today, first unpacks a heart-rending melancholy, inspired by the tragic death of his brother, before turning his gaze to the sun. “Keep your head up,” he chants over and over again.
“One Foot” wraps the listener in the same feeling when the clouds part and the first rays of sun peak through the sky. “Grief, she weeps / When you let her in so let her in,” he encourages. In allowing oneself to grieve and feel every ounce of pain, you let yourself heal before flying onward and up. “Grief, she sleeps / When you stop fighting it / Stop fighting it.”
“One Foot” follows a chain of singles, including the aptly-titled “Change the World” and “I Won’t Go Quietly.” If you’re guessing a theme here, you’d be right. “Truth, she speaks / If you’re really listening / Truth, the truth hurts / If you treat it like an enemy,” he observes with the new song.
Walker plays every card of his emotional hand, pouring it all into a moment of solace, healing, and great hope. “One day at a time / I’ll follow the line / One foot in front of the other,” he sings on the chorus. It’s as if he’s ringing a liberty bell for himself, permitting a new dawn to finally break. “What I feared the most / I’m letting it go / Long as I keep moving forward / One foot in front of the other.”
Walker’s trek has been a long one. He moved to Nashville in 2005 and signed a deal with Word Music Publishing two years later. A self-titled debut EP arrived soon after, and through the years, he has continued the slow march forward. His last solo record was released seven years ago; in the meantime, he’s kept himself busy, gaining major syncs on MTV and “The Vampire Diaries,” among others.
In many ways, “One Foot” summarizes his entire story. “‘One Foot’ is a song about determination in the midst of defeat. When I wrote this song, it was for someone else,” he writes to American Songwriter over email, “but now I’m in a season of life where it directly speaks to me. I love the universality of music in that way.”
Walker’s tireless work ethic and dedication is clearly paying off. The Nashville musician has amassed millions of Spotify streams to-date and hooked up with such prominent DJs as Kygo, Steve Aoki and Sick Individuals on various collaborations.
Listen to “One Foot” below.
Photo Credit: Nick Brier