Hopeless boy falls for spoiled trust fund kid whose father is an evil music exec who she plans to kill for an inheritance. It sounds like a potential CW pilot, but musician PT Walkley opted to make a record out of the drama, with his ’60s inspired solo debut Mr. Macy Walks Alone.
Walkley’s narrative songs have already been featured in several films, including Ed Burn’s Looking for Kitty. When we ask which musician he was rooting for to nab the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, Walkley explains he was all about The Boss. “And by ‘the boss’, I mean Miley Cyrus,” Walkley quips, before continuing: “That Beyonce song is pretty catchy.”
No surprise, he’s a big Wes Anderson fan; having his songs featured in an Anderson flick and earning a Globe nomination himself doesn’t seem far off. Walkey’s live shows impressed front man Chris Martin of Coldplay so much that Martin announced Walkey would open for them at the not-so-tiny Madison Square Garden for a free show. “It was incredible,” recalls Walkley. “I wanted to absorb the whole thing. Even sound check was ridiculous. When we plugged in, it sounded like ‘fi, fi, fo, fum.’ As the set came to a close, I said, ‘Just stick around for Coldplay.'” If the enthusiastic crowd (“they were doing the whisper cheer”) is any indicator, Walkley’s opening act days may soon be over.
His refreshing debut, which Walkley refers to as “a love letter to music,” takes listeners on a journey with characters they’ll identify with. He spills out a few choice words concerning trust fund kid Audrey, including “Miss Antsy pants, 1990’s, tabloids” and says Mr. Macy, her bad-guy record exec father is “modeled after things of today.” Calvin, the young boy who’s infatuated with Audrey and exploited by Mr. Macy, has a “delusional love affair with Audrey,” described beautifully in “Run” and “Coming Over.”
The end result is an album that is meant to be listened to in its entirety, as opposed to hopping from track to track. “I really wanted to bring back the cover-to-cover experience missing in the iPod era,” says Walkley. “If you can throw in characters to wrap a story, it catches the attention of the listeners.” It also made the songwriting process easier. “It lets you go off on different genres. You can do a country song because that’s what Calvin says,” Walkley explains.
With the recent finalization of the Times Square Virgin Megastore closing along with the onslaught of other music industry-related sadness, can PT Walkley soothe our music woes? That’s what he’s banking on. “You hear about things going downhill,” says Walkley. “It’s the responsibility of musicians to make really good records again. Good music will fix things.”
PT Walkley will perform Mr Macy Wakes Alone in its entirety — complete with string quartet, pedal steel, saw playing, harp playing, flutes, horns and choirs — 0n Tuesday, January 27th at The Blender Theater. For your chance to win a free pair of tix, drop a line to tips [at] flavorpill [dot] com with the name of your favorite trust fund baby.