With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share five records THEY love.
Depending on your frame of reference and location, The Walkmen were either wildly succesful in the ’00s or criminally underrated. I, for one, am a huge fan of the band’s discography. Unlike other bands, the Walkmen’s demise did not end the musical careers of its individual members. In fact, they continue to gather critical acclaim with their solo (see Hamilton Leithauser, Walter Martin, Paul Maroon, and Peter Matthew Bauer) and band careers (Matt Barrick with Muzz). A close look at all of these projects reveals the diverse talents and musical interests of the individuals that made up the Walkmen.
In anticipation of his third record (Flowers), we reached out to The Walkmen’s bass player Peter Matthew Bauer to provide a Gimme 5 feature. He kindly obliged, and his list is as diverse as I’d hoped it would be. Part of this has to do with his own record label (and management company) Fortune Tellers Music. The Flowers LP, which will be out September 23 on Fortune Tellers – pre-order now) is a reflection of the different artists Bauer works or has worked with. Currently, three teaser singles have been released and none of them sound alike, yet all of them are of interest. Whereas Skulls has hints of The Walkmen, Knife Fighter starts out as an acoustic folk song that grows into something bigger and more exciting along the way. That also applies to Miracles, a gorgeous and particularly powerful track where Bauer constantly builds and releases tension. Continue reading below to hear the song and discover Bauer’s Gimme 5.
Peter Matthew Bauer: I thought I’d pick some recent favorites here of people I work with because all timers feels a little overwhelming. Alongside putting out records myself these days, I work with a lot of different artists. I have a tiny record label called Fortune Tellers and manage a bunch of different folks too. I think what I end up hearing and getting attached to is always informed by that so I figured I’d point to a bunch of my friends and people I’ve grown attached to recently that might have been missed for my list.
1. Lushlife || Redamancy
I’m starting off here with a Fortune Tellers record. It’s also from one of my closest friends the rapper/producer Lushlife (Raj Haldar). This record was crazily slept on if you ask me. Raj’s career has been all over the map stylistically. He has a record called Skull Eclipses on Western Vinyl that is definitely another favorite. Redamancy is very zoned in around these live avant garde jazz recordings he made with members of the group Irreversible Entanglements. So there are these wonderful 6 minute freak outs and atmospheric moments that surround these excellent and strange rap songs. Raj is also an incredibly underrated rapper. He has a cadence that can really carry a track all the way and always has a genuinely surprising reference or line that makes you know you’re listening to a true original. My favorite track here features dålek and is called Depaysement.
2. Walter Martin || The Bear
Earlier this year, my friend Walt put out his newest record called The Bear. I helped organize things a bit but I’m not sure what I really ended up doing. Still it was fun to hear the record and figure out how to get the word out about it. We should have waited a few months and timed it with the TV show of the same name. Ultimately though, it’s just a great record and I’m hoping more people will notice his pretty huge body of work at this point. The title track is just a knock out. I will note – this is my second favorite Walt record. The one called Reminisce Bar & Grill is the solid gold #1 but you can’t miss with either if you’re searching for things in a kind of Randy Newman/Jonathan Richman vein that feel both funny and kind of dreamily sad. Check out Ride Down the Highway and Too Cold to Waterski off that one for undeniable proof. And The Bear off the new one.
3. Cosmic Guilt || Cosmic Guilt
I just started managing these guys. They’re a new band from Philly. There are like so many of them (10 at least, maybe 20?) that I’ve only met a few of them. They sound like classic Philadelphia music from the last 10 years to me which I love. I would say the stuff people really know is War on Drugs and Kurt Vile, both of whom are excellent but the guy who really sticks with me is Quentin Stoltzfus and his projects Mazarin and Light Heat. There’s a through line in all this music from Philadelphia that I think Cosmic Guilt captures quite spectacularly. I know that it’s definitely the same kind of feeling that rubbed off on me quite noticeably living there. Cosmic Guilt are heavily influenced by Fairport Convention (that’s what they say but it’s true), but they’re definitely their own kind of beast. Incredible guitar playing and band. I like Greener Leaves as a favorite.
4. Johanna Samuels || Excelsior!
I worked with Johanna for a bit. She’s an incredible singer and songwriter in Los Angeles. She’s also about as kind and decent person as you can find. She’s got a lot of new music she’s been making which is a huge step up and a great record from last year called Excelsior! and an EP that really got me into her music in the first place. From Excelsior! my favorite song is All Is Fine. What a cool one produced by Sam Evian.
5. Matt Costa || Donde Los Terremotos
Matt is an artist I’ve been friends and worked with for a long time. I produced his record Santa Rosa Fangs back in 2017. This new one is a soundtrack for a film he also directed with Roark, the outdoors brand. It’s an incredibly wide ranging soundtrack that shows just how crazy talented this dude is. Like who can just jump all over the map and write and play so many different types of music? Crazy. Anyways – the single is called Holy Mountain. I’m somewhere way in the background shouting in the choruses.