Recording under the name Silver Torches, Seattle singer-songwriter Erik Walters specializes in smart and melancholy Americana — the sort of stuff that ought to be catnip to fans of, say, Ryan Adams or late-period Paul Westerberg. Like those singers, Walters is incredibly adept at sharpening weapons-grade hooks in ways that help his songs lurk in the subconscious for months on end.
Silver Torches' new album, Let It Be a Dream, finds Walters trafficking in a more somber and ruminative sound, with lots of moodily languid ballads. But it also packs a few ingratiating pop-rock corkers like "Keep the Car Running," which glides along winningly, propelled by a sweet bit of piano and a shimmering, sleekly catchy guitar line.
"In the spring of 2016, I was asked to collaborate with an instrumental band from L.A. who were looking to experiment with adding vocals on an EP they were writing," Walters writes via email. "Nothing came of it, but I kept the top line from this tune and tweaked the lyrics a bit. I like to think of this song as a brief glimpse into a tired relationship. Musically, the song has the feeling of potential. If you let yourself go, or let your foot off that brake pedal, it will move forward all on its own."
Let It Be a Dream comes out Oct. 6 via Bandcamp.