I don't know of any artist making sweeter, more heartwarming music than Walter Martin. Since he and his bandmates in The Walkmen went on indefinite hiatus in 2014 Martin has released three solo albums, each filled with songs that sound like lullabies for grownups. They celebrate the best of humanity; love, innocence, joy, empathy and the wonder of existence itself. It's the kind of music that can bring tears to your eyes from marveling at all the beauty in the world.
Now Martin is sharing an affecting new video for the closing cut to his latest album, My Kinda Music. The song, "It's A Dream (Night Version)" is a simple ode to all the people Martin loves in his life, including those who've passed. "Goodnight George from Valley Forge," he sings. "And goodnight Abe, so tall and brave. I know you're looking down and watching over me."
The video itself is composed entirely of old home movies Martin discovered on a website called Memories To Light, a historic preservation archive collecting six decades of Asian American home movies. "The archive is a kind of collective memory of the Asian American experience in the United States," Martin tells NPR Music. "There's a lot of footage, and it's really beautiful and tells very warm, familiar stories. My album is all about storytelling and family and finding beauty in our imperfections, and these home movies seem to embody all of those ideas. When I contacted the family who shot this footage, a Filipino-American family in Stockton, Calif., they were lovely and generously allowed me to share a bit of their story. I hope people feel a connection with it as strongly as I do."
My Kinda Music is out now on Family Jukebox.