Robert Walter Drops First Two Tracks from ‘Better Feathers’ Digital 45 Series

Robert Walter shares “Or Else” and “Franklin,” the first two songs from his Better Feathers series, in which the acclaimed keyboardist rolls out six new “digital 45s” via Royal Potato Family. Each release will feature two singles for a total of 12 tracks to be issued from now through October. 

Rather than making the more obvious quiet, introspective music, the focus instead turned to my nostalgia for sweaty bars and crowded dance floors. Somewhere during the process, tracks began floating back and forth to friends like Stanton Moore (Galactic), Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Chris Stillwell (The Greyboy Allstars), Jake Najor, John Kimock and Mike Gordon (Phish) to add their own parts remotely.

Robert Walter

Written and recorded entirely from home during quarantine in 2020 and 2021, Robert immersed himself in the writing and recording process as a way to remain creative and fend off boredom while faced with a year of no live shows. According to Walter, the title Better Feathers comes from the idea of birds molting — shedding their old, worn-out feathers for new, better ones.

“Or Else,” is the first of the two tracks released in the series. The song features Robert Walter‘s frequent collaborator, New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore and Turkuaz guitarist Craig Brodhead. “It was influenced by early ’80s dance records by artists like Grace Jones and Chic,” says Walter. The clean melody is inspired by dub melodica explorations and the breakthrough work of Augustus Pablo to create “pure topical funk and summer vibes.” The tune was the first track Walter wrote and curated for the sessions.

Robert Walter – Photo by Julia Mordaunt

It was time to shift gears and think of the situation as a positive and not a negative; an unexpected abundance of time to emerge with something of value… The music is influenced by the methods. In the absence of working with a group, the focus turned to overdubbing layers of sound. Inspirations were found by digging into late 70s NYC dance music, dub reggae, archaic blues, Krautrock, jazz, and funk.

Robert Walter on his creative process during COVID-19 quarantining

The “b-side” is “Franklin” named after Walter‘s elementary school alongside memories of his younger self. Once again, Stanton Moore joins on drums, adding an especially spare and funky beat.

Photo by Rene Huemer via robertwalter.com

There was a certain time during the mid-’70s where it seemed like everything in pop culture was funky. Saturday morning cartoons, television commercials, and most of the music on the radio had absorbed (and sometimes bastardized) the sounds of James Brown, Sly Stone, and the Jackson 5

Robert Walker

Robert Walter’s Better Feathers Digital 45 Release Schedule

The Better Feathers series continues in late July with the release of “Saucerman” featuring Phish bassist Mike Gordon and “Devices of Similar Size” with Stanton Moore once again on drums. Find the schedule below:

"Saucermen" (w/ Mike Gordon)
"Devices Of Similar Size" (w/ Stanton Moore)
Release Date: July 21, 2021

"Bloodstar" (w/ Craig Brodhead)
"Better Feathers" (w/ Stanton Moore)
Release Date: August 18, 2021

"Security" (w/ John Kimock)
"It's Not What's"
Release Date: September 1, 2021

"Wet From The Press" (w/ Jake Najor)
"Feeder, Doctor, Talker" (w/ Jake Najor & Chris Stillwell)
Release Date: September 22, 2021

"Hellhound" (w/ Chris Stillwell)
"Loomis"
Release Date: October 27, 2021

Until then, isten to and share “Franklin” and “Or Else” below on his Spotify as well as other streaming services accessible HERE

Greyboy AllstarsjazzMike Gordonnew releasePhishRobert WalterStanton MooreUpcoming Album