Brad Walsh's "Six Infinite" Album
Addressing inspiration, process and the nature of genres with the multi-talented artist
How often does one press play on a new album and feel as if they're hearing something that defies the genres they've known thus far? It's an uncommon experience—and one that very well might happen upon first listen of Brad Walsh's Six Infinite (released today, 28 October). The 16-track record dabbles with the known—EDM, pop, disco, R&B—but in a rich, complex fashion unites these varied inspirations, applies thoughtful (sometimes narrative) lyrics and yields an entirely danceable product. Walsh wrote and produced the songs. He's also the predominant vocalist, though exciting guest spots by Luscious Jackson and Juliana Hatfield complement his efforts. It's been five years since Walsh released his last LP Right Now, though he's dropped a few EPs along the way. It's safe to say that his most recent demonstrates the diversity of his skills with the most potent force.
"For me, the production is a huge emotional part of the song," Walsh explains to CH. "Especially with electronic music, where you can have so many weird sounds. The kind of music I make I am producing it all on a computer—screwing with everything to make it sound exactly how I want it to sound. That’s a great tool for getting emotion across." As for process, Walsh begins with the music most often; lyrics follow suit. And frequently, it's listening to others' music that triggers an immediate flight to the studio. From there, Walsh lets the production guide his emotions, and the process itself can take over the direction of a track, steering it from where he initially imagined it would lead.
When asked about genre, Walsh touches upon a through line in music as a whole. "I think if you asked almost any musician to categorize what they do, they all give the same answer, 'I am uncategorizable.' When it comes down to it, generally, what I do is just pop," he says. "I like it because it can mean anything now. It was definitely, if I go back to the beginning of me being an artist, what really inspired me to want to make the music I make." Walsh references both Madonna's Ray of Light and Tori Amos' The Choir Girl Hotel as impetus to create, instilling a sense of wonder regarding the intellectual and emotional craft of electronic music. He can pinpoint where he first listened to both albums. That said, the term "guerrilla pop" resonates with him more than most. And as is implied, little sonic assaults and unexpected twists do pepper his work.
As for the title of the album—another in a string of numerically oriented releases—Walsh explains that this means more than just his sixth completed work. "You can see on the album cover that it's actually six of infinite [6/infinite], like a numbered piece of art. I believe in infinite universes, alternative realities, perhaps reincarnation and infinite lifetimes. I think this is the sixth release of an infinite pool of music or art of any kind that I am creating—or can create." As a considered, uncommon and cohesive piece of electronic music, Six Infinite makes us excited for all the Walsh will continue to imagine, produce and share.
Images courtesy of Brad Walsh