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Track by track: The Walking Who guide us through the vast canyons of Lewiside

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December was a good time for surprise new music. Radiohead did it with their brilliant single Spectre, but local boys The Walking Who upped the ante considerably and dropped their sophomore album basically without warning. Following their win in FBi’s Nothern Lights comp, the three-piece shifted their headquarters to Iceland, one of the many places they hunkered down to record Lewiside. What resulted was one of the best albums to grace 2015, one that saw the band make shift from their psych-rock roots into darker, more progressive territory. If you haven’t heard the record slap on a pair of good headphones and give it a spin. To better understand the winding labyrinth that is Lewiside, Rohin and Paul from the band have kindly deciphered the album’s secrets for us.

Lewiside track by track

Taking in pretty lights, guzzling cold beers and evading brick wielding neighbours, The Walking Who take us track by track through their brilliant sophomore album Lewiside.

Apolloduction

Apolloduction was funnily enough recorded during one of the last sessions for Lewiside and was originally attached as a type of part 1 to 167.3 Jesus Radio. We recorded the track at our mate Olsie’s studio in the London suburb of Brixton. We were all strung out and full of pizza dough after 2 weeks of touring through an Italian heat wave – Apolloduction is an audible slice of too much Italian culture, and a worthy intro to the record. R

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167.3 Jesus Radio

This song developed through a range of environments. It started as a jam we did live before progressing into one of our favourite songs on the record. We first started demoing this out on Scotland Island at our friend Simon’s house. Paul recently got an MPC drum sampler and he made this cool beat, the idea was that we were going to create a type of electro song with a blend of rock and electronic instrumentation. We mainly developed the idea out on the island but cut the final track in London after our Euro tour in July this year. The studio we recorded in was a renowned goldmine for electronic music and we had access to types of synthesised devices and pro equipment. P

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With Roses

This was the first single leading up to this album. We recorded half of it in Byron and the other half at a music school Paul and I were working at in Kings Cross. This song took an interesting progression from its ‘farmy country’ origins to its urban city slickness. It is a favourite because it flounders around genres of music that are not usually mixed together. R

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Royal Debris

This was a track we recorded in many different places around Sydney. It first started in a garage I was renting in Bronte, I remember getting a knock on the door from my landlord after the twangy guitar was obviously pissing her off upstairs. This was a sad day as I could not really play with amplification anymore at my home. So many times when you sign a lease to a new place people are thrilled, saying things like “Oh wow you record music, that’s totally fine I love music!” Reality, however, then summons a so called “music lover” to bang their head against the wall after hearing an invasive, out of context lead line being played for the 50th time. Apart from that we like this song because it sounds a little like Madonna when she was going through a country phase. R

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Electrocute the Mannequin

What do you do when you have written a song you like but just can’t seem to record it right? Rerecord it in Iceland of course. Part of winning FBI Radio’s Northern Lights competition was that they set you up in a beautiful studio for a day, just outside of Reykjavik. The session was on one of the last days of the trip and we still hadn’t seen the northern lights. But late that night we finished recording, walked out onto the street and there she was. A very special moment indeed. P

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Chinese Whispers

With this one we wanted to try writing and recording a song in one night, start to finish. This was in response to everything we seem to do, dragging out for fucking ever. We got our mate Rohan Wilcox in to record the session and we just jammed. This is what we ended up with. Could it have been better if we labored over it for months? Probably. But limitations are actually more fun. P

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Speakin Ma Language

This song developed through a range of challenging circumstances throughout the making of Lewiside and let’s say that facing the language barrier of a beautiful French lady was the least of conflicts. Whilst renting a warehouse in Annandale about halfway through recording the album we had a terrifying encounter with a trucky who lived next door. The neighbours’ fuse became so short with us that one night whilst recording drums for Speakin Ma Language he enlightened us with a lovely clay brick through the window. I remember attempting to finish the drums that night as we spent the day setting up, it wasn’t until the adrenaline kicked in that we found ourselves baring planks of wood to defend the fort as he began kicking in the door… R

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Lewiside, I am the Virus, Blank Stamp/The Wronging

Summer 2014, we carted the studio gear up to a farm in Byron. We spent two weeks just drinkin beers, swimming in the lake and recording music. It was probably one of the best times we ever had. Shit was bliss. During this time we recorded these songs and a bunch of others. We spent the nights drinking our fill in Tiger Lagers, just recording random jams not really working on anything in particular. The next day we would grab a coffee and sift through the hours of incoherent jams, trying to pick out little pockets of sparkle. The rest of the arvo would then be spent trying to turn them into something that resembles a song. Night would come around, we’d buy another case and the process starts again. This happened every day for two weeks. The Wronging is the only original late night jam on the record and is untouched from its original form. Just three dudes trying to play keys, very poorly. We could never agree on whether it was a song or just a ‘thing’, but it’s on the record as a not very secret track anyway. P

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Mailman

While in Byron we had the opportunity to spend a couple of days recording at La Casa, a big mansion thing owned by Corona right on the beach with a full studio downstairs. Using pro gear was nice for a change. Being used to rummaging through the boot of Rohin’s Camry for a working guitar lead, it was a novelty to have them coiled neatly, hanging on the wall. Mailman was recorded that night after a few tasty waves and cold Coronas. Jay really nailed this one. The Rhodes part and the bass line make this my favorite song on the record. P

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