Check Out The Latest Devastating Track (And Compelling Music Video) From The Singular Dallas Singer-Songwriter Joshua Ray Walker.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Joshua Ray Walker — “Voices”
RIYL: suicidal ideation.
What else you should know: Since the release of his gut-wrenching single “Canyon” — one of our top Dallas-area single releases of 2018, although it technically wasn’t released until his State Fair Records-backed, debut Wish You Were Here LP from last year — Dallas singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker has been universally hailed as one of the region’s unquestionably great talents.
And that’s no small feat considering the decidedly somber material in which his songs mire.
While Walker is able to get some of his jollier and rowdier rocks off as a member of the raucous (and also acclaimed) country-tinged rock outfit Ottoman Turks, his solo offerings are far more austere, and they spare no punches at all with their bleak honesty.
His first new material shared since last year’s LP, Walker’s new single “Voices” falls appropriately in line with this direction. A somber, drunken and borderline yodeled ballad about loneliness and disaffection, the song is beautifully performed and compellingly stark — especially at its end, when Walker lyrically fantasizes about taking his own life by letting his truck roll into a lake, and making it look like an accident by getting drunk in the cab beforehand.
It’s heavy and alarming stuff, to be sure. But, for better or worse, this kind of openness about the dark places our minds can go has also become a calling card of sorts for Walker. Such is his burden.
Adding at least a little levity to the proceedings is the song’s paired music video, which premiered along with the track itself last week via Rolling Stone Country. Directed by Dallas filmmaker Josh David Jordan and featuring onscreen cameos from Jordan, his This World Won’t Break star Roxanna Redfoot, Walker’s Ottoman Turks bandmate Nathan Wells and his producer John Pedigo, the surrealist video is an over-the-top depiction of the despair at the center of the song it represents.
Give it a watch below. Just, before you hit play, ready yourself for another Walker release that’s sure to wrench your heart in ways that you didn’t think a song quite could.