Sometimes all it takes for an artist to find musical inspiration is a change of scenery. In the case of Kyle Wall, who performs under the name Wharfer, it was just a change of roommates. For his forthcoming album Scenes of the Tourist, out January 13, Brooklyn-based Wall channeled the diverse range of interests his musical roommates to write an orchestral collection of songs that strays far from his lo-fi folk roots. His new single, the slow, somber “Blue Lewis,” channels Nick Cave, Randy Newman and hints of John Cale.
“I moved into a house with a piano and four brilliant jazz, classical and bluegrass-leaning musicians, and this record is a picture of a year in that environment,” Wall says. “It was weirdly thrilling to transfer the folk song structures of my earlier work into new piano-based songs with arrangements that almost veered on chamber-pop. The lyrics soak in a lot of pretty sad and dispiriting events that were going on around the world and in my life, but somehow the album comes out more optimistic and upbeat than anything I’ve done.”
Listen to “Blue Lewis” below.