|Abandoned Pools — Somnambulist (2013)|
Abandoned Pools — Somnambulist
°° Multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Tommy Walter goes by the alias of Abandoned Pools. Walter picked up a bass guitar in grade school and by high school was a classically trained French horn player. He enrolled at the University of Pacific in Stockton, CA, where he studied and taught music theory (and such early 20th century, 12-tone and modal composers like Schoenberg, Bartók, and Stravinsky).
Birth name: Thomas Edward "Tommy" Walter
Born: October 30, 1970, Thousand Oaks, California
Location: Westlake Village ~ Los Angeles, California
Occupations: Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments: Vocals, bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, french horn
Album release: July 2nd/9th (U.S.), 2013
Record Label: HYPE MUSIC
01. Focus (3:12)
02. Occupy (3:58)
03. Compass (3:54)
04. Breaking Horses (3:04)
05. If Only (3:07)
06. Pep Talk (2:49)
07. Arms Race (4:23)
08. Red Flag (3:17)
09. Walking Disaster (4:27)
10. I See the Math (3:56)
°° Abandoned Pools is the performing name for singer-songwriter and musician Tommy Walter, as well as the name of the band in which he plays. He began playing music at a young age, first with the bass guitar and then the French horn. He attended University of Southern California, followed by the Pacific University. Teaching classical music theory, Walter began working with various Los Angeles-area musicians.
LQP Records: http://lqprecords.bandcamp.com
°° Sublime Currency, the long-awaited third album from Abandoned Pools, is the culmination of an eleven-year journey. In many ways, the album tells a new chapter in the narrative of Tommy Walter, the songwriter and musician behind the band. Tommy, who is from Westlake Village, CA, began the project in the early ‘00s, initiating his own visionary project after leaving the band The Eels.
°° In the beginning, Abandoned Pools was entirely a solo endeavor. Their 2001 debut, Humanistic, crafted alone in Tommy’s apartment, is a focused collection of tracks that conveyed bittersweet sentiments about suburban life in America. Its successor, 2005’s Armed to the Teeth, shifted away from Tommy’s solitary venture, constructed with the aid of a band. That disc reveals a songwriter grappling with confusion and darkness. Now, on Sublime Currency, Tommy has answered his own questions, finding solace in his faith and recent marriage.
°° “This record is more of a joyful record,” Tommy says. “I’m a happier person after I’ve gone through this process. I reached a low point in my life and I think my music now reveals how I overcame that. This record is about feeling like I discovered something that’s important to me.”
°° The album, written and recorded during 2010 and 2011, took shape organically, a thoughtful response to Tommy’s current life view. The recordings took place in several Southern California locations, Castle View Studio, The Bombshelter and Tommy’s own LQP Studios, all with Tommy at the production helm. And ultimately, like Abandoned Pools’ debut, Sublime Currency is a unified, cohesive vision from a focused musician. Even all the instruments on the album, with the exception of the drums, were played by the multi-instrumentalist.
°° “I went back to my core of writing on my own and recording on my own because it keeps the project focused,” he explains. “I had a lot of range on the first album and I wanted to keep that going here, this range of styles. The songs come from a long span of time, but I feel like they’re all appropriate to now.”
°° “Unrehearsed,” a standout track for the LP, showcases the more pop-oriented side of the disc, a surging tune that recalls Abandoned Pools’ debut, while “In Silence,” a track Tommy penned about getting married, is an immediate and engaging mellow rock number. It’s the title track, however, that culls the album together. Named from a quote by composer John Cage, the synth-laced rock track aims to share Tommy’s personal journey, offering the listener some sense of how one can emerge from the struggle in the lyrics: “I can push the buttons/I can wrestle with the phantoms/Till I see that all the best things happen naturally.”
°° It’s a product of love and devotion, as well. Tommy, who has spent the past five years writing for commercials and TV shows, wrote and recorded the disc before he had a record label on which to release it. Tooth & Nail eventually signed Abandoned Pools in November of 2011, adding Abandoned Pools to their already-impressive roster of like-minded artists. Tommy adds the album to numerous achievements over the years, including writing the theme song for MTV’s Clone High and touring with bands like A Perfect Circle, Zwan, Garbage and Lenny Kravitz. In the end, though, it all comes back to making mindful, intelligent music that resonates with his fans.
°° "It all comes down to where your motivation is when you make music,” Tommy says. “It's not about hype or trying to get someone's attention. It's about making music for the love of music itself.”
°° The first album went on to sell over 100k, thanks to the Modern Rock hit, "The Remedy" and tours with the likes of Remy Zero, Garbage, Lenny Kravitz, Billy Corgan and A Perfect Circle.
°° Produced by Tommy and Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Interpol, Clinic, Erasure) and mixed by Ken Andrews (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Failure, Year of the Rabbit), Armed to the Teeth once again showcases Walter's ability to combine the macro and the micro, contrasting despair with world situations and personal affairs.
°° Tommy Walter began his career in 1995 as a founding member of the critically acclaimed band Eels. As the first group to sign to Dreamworks Records, the band toured the world in support of their release Beautiful Freak and the alternative rock hit ‘Novocaine For The Soul’. At last count, the album has sold well over a million copies worldwide Over the years, Tommy has mixed and produced various projects and has recently been active writing for television.
|Abandoned Pools — Somnambulist (2013)|