The Wheel Walkers hail from Cologne and their debut album is a quirky little creature that sounds very much like a group of friends performing songs written in a foreign tongue with no agenda other than to just do the thing they like to do.
First listen can be a bit off putting – it is very lo fi and at times almost too simple – but spin the disc a couple of times and it very quickly becomes, if not essential, then at least extremely pleasurable.
Musically a mix between Johnathon Richman, the Velvet Underground and Belle and Sebastian, the songs possess an engaging humanity that is quite rare these days.
It’s naivety, in fact, is its greatest strength.
Singer/songwriter Oliver Hehemann’s voice quivers shakily as he sings of sailing away with the girl he loves as he details the way she fills his coffee cup every morning or how he “once had a dream where you needed me…we would be in love again in your single bed”. Sweetly simple lyrics delivered with absolute wide eyed honesty.
Or, “If you want my opinion…I don’t know” – what a great chorus hook!
Highlights of the set include the quasi tango of Barracuda and the Gypsy jazz twist of Turn Back Time but even these highlights are simply brighter hues of a soft relaxing pastel.
All quite lovely in a sweet, almost apologetically polite way.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.