Mark Walder is an East London based singer-songwriter that has recently released his debut EP, Out Of The Shadows. So far, it has not seen much coverage and as such it’s a delight to get my hands on it nice and early to let you know what you’re in for. If you want to have a cheeky listen with me as well, you can hear a few samples in the Soundcloud thing at the bottom of this post.
Out Of The Shadows contains a mixed bag of singer-songwriter tunes, the majority of which are struck by that phase of admiration and affection for someone. While this is okay, it would have been nice to see what else Mr Walder is holding in terms of his darker hand of songs.
We do still get a charming EP that gives the listener one side, and a small serving of another side, of this guy. Most of the songs on this EP sound quite large thanks to the likes of the piano, the strings and the occasional drumming, like in Arms Of An Angel and Together Forever. However, it feels like Mark Walder really comes into his own on the intimate and stripped back songs like Shadows and Passenger.
Having said that, there is a lot going on in Passenger, but it’s more restrained and I feel that this is where Mark comes into his own with his very animated subtleties. Shadows feels like these personal encounter with the artist at some subdued pub in East London with the gentle singing and careful guitar fingerings. I think it’s this vulnerability that is most striking about this guy, but some of the larger songs just don’t do it for me.
Arms Of An Angel and I Remember are just a bit too much for me; they both feel too twee and sweet for me. That being said, if you’re into what you’re hearing from the samples, go for it, you will love this EP and I know a lot of people will. Mark has a versatile voice that functions well, sounds good and it has no delusions of grandeur, unlike some upcoming singer-songwriters.
Since we’re on the topic of how Mark’s music sounds, I’d like to get into the way that his music has been produced. It all sounds very professional, no haphazard mixing or tom-foolery, everything is in its place and sounds stellar. The tidbits of electric guitar in Gambling Man, line up nicely with the keys and acoustic in this one and it just gives the song, oddly enough, an almost folk sound to it at times.
What we have from Mark Walder is a brave and personal first flurry of activity in the music world that’ll excite any singer-songwriter fan. The music can be uplifting, gloomy or somewhere in the middle ground, but it always stays true to Mark. So, Come Out Of The Shadows, with Mark Walder.