Premiere: Robert Walter’s “Saucermen” with Bonus Video of Mike Gordon’s Remote Contribution on Bass
photo credit: Julia Mordaunt
Last month Robert Walter kicked off his Better Feathers series, which will find the keyboard player releasing six new “digital 45s” intermittently through October via Royal Potato Family. Walter wrote and recorded the twelve songs entirely during quarantine, enlisting his bandmates in Greyboy Allstars and Mike Gordon’s group along with longtime friends such as Stanton Moore. Walter has explained that the name Better Feathers references the molting process of birds and applying the concept to quarantine, whereby “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.”
Today we are premiering “Saucermen” featuring Mike Gordon, which is the latest in the series (along with “Devices Of Similar Size” featuring Stanton Moore). Walter explains, “’Saucermen’ was a tune I had been working on for a long time and kept coming back to. It‘s sort of genre neutral, but still feels great. I wanted to make something that avoided all the cliches of funk music but was rhythmically propulsive and syncopated. It’s very hypnotic to me and feels other worldly. This goes with my general fascination with psychedelic groove music. I decided to not play a traditional ‘solo,’ but instead think of it as improvisational sound collage.
“While was working on the song and adding layers I kept thinking about moments I have had on stage with Mike Gordon. Sometimes we stretch something so far that the tune no longer matters and the music plays itself. I figured I would ask him to play bass on ‘Saucermen’ to try to recreate that feeling in a much shorter space. Mike and I talk a lot about getting away from intention and letting the music tell you where to go next. I think this captures that mystical thing.”
In addition to the premiere, we are also sharing a video of Gordon providing his contribution to the song.
“Saucermen”/“Devices Of Similar Size” is now available for pre-save.
Here’s Mike recording his bass part.