After years of being presented with images of smart looking young men with tidy beards, clothing with costs a fortune in its effort to look just thrown on, skinny jeans and a wide brimmed hat, as soon as I saw the picture of Shaun Mykal Walker on the cover of the single, my guard was up. Another gap year troubadour trying to impart his wisdom on the world? Another love-lorn busker who can wax lyrical about how influential Jeff Buckley is to him without knowing that his best know song is actually a cover?
Thankfully, he is none of these things, and Baring My Soul is simply a cool, well-written song, one which rises from a gentle and intimate ballad into a groovesome piece of infectious pop. But it is even smarter than that might sound, employing clever dynamics to create its ever-shifting musical personality, swooping low here so that it can launch itself skyward to even greater effect there. More and more intricate weaves of guitar build increasing weight behind his vocals before pedals are hit, overdrives enacted and a rock ethic drive things home.
So what have we learned? Well, you should have learned that Shaun Mykal Walker is someone who you need to keep a close eye on in the future. I have learnt not to judge books, or indeed singles, by their covers.
Link to the single: