The first time Daniel Walker caught the performance bug was at the Open Mic House on Agricola in 2013. On a whim, he took a flight from Guelph, Ont. to Halifax over his university reading week. It was a dream-like seven days that led Walker to a naive conclusion. He decided that if he moved here, of course he’d become a musician. Why wouldn’t he?
Life has a way of stalling these kinds of dreams. Even still, Walker spent the past two years writing a small crop of tunes, which he kept in his back pocket until recently.
This Friday, Walker is debuting Owen Meany’s Batting Stance's first EP. It's a sound that's part folk, part pop, with a heavy focus on lyricism. The event at The Company House kicks off a week long tour, with stops in New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. Walker says the band is mainly a vessel for his musical endeavours —he’s the group’s songwriter, singer and guitarist. Remaining members are in flux, but aplenty, thanks to Walker’s wide revolving door of friends who lend their talents to play with him.
When Walker first took the spontaneous plunge to move here, his Dad gave him a copy of his favourite book, A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. Something about the story, and the pivotal time at which he read it, really stuck with Walker, eventually inspiring his band's name. In a scene near the end of the story, the main character (Owen) finally hits his first home run during the last game of baseball season. Unfortunately, the ball hits his best friend’s mom on the head, killing her. Walker says it’s a dark metaphor for taking a chance on music, and not knowing what will happen in the long run.
Lyrically, Walker likes storytelling. “I think it gives it a bit of a purpose… if you can have a song that stands as something that you can read, like a poem, that has meaning all the way through,” he says. For this reason, his tunes don’t typically have a repetitive chorus. He prefers a narrative approach.
Take the song Pop Odyssey: The First Person Narrative of The Bottle of Cola. It’s the story of a pop bottle’s feelings about being at a house party. Have a listen here to get a sneak peak of what Walker has to say.