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Quinn Walker: 'Hiding Behind Waterfalls'

Quinn Walker is a brazen experimental baroque-folk artist. His first studio solo record is a double disc, one titled Laughter's An A**hole, the other Lion Land. Both are wildly unpredictable and sonically thrilling. While Walker infuses his music with a sense of humor and playfullness, he laces his songs with deeper meditations on themes that range from fear and madness to love and romance. Quinn says the title of Laughter's an A**hole refers to those who "laugh at the expense of other people."

"Hiding Behind Waterfalls", the last number on Laughter, is a metaphor criticizing the idea to "maintain a sense of self creating a reality." Like hiding behind a waterfall, the facade Walker explains is "see through" or transparent.

The song crescendos from Walker's soft whisper against bass, harmonica, shining keyboard scales and, eventually, an orchestra adding choral chants, polyphonic harmonies and epic drums.

The full instrumentation is done entirely by Walker, an attribute unique to his live shows. Using loops, samples and contorting his limbs to play as many instruments as possible, Walker is literally a one-man band.

Inspired by African music and rock classics like The Beatles, The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan, Quinn sees most new musicians as his "peer group" that influences his artistic direction. Quinn's label, Voodoo-Eros, started by Bianca Casady of CocoRosie is a niche of musicians Quinn finds particularly innovative.

Besides Laughter's An A**hole, Quinn offers fifteen other self-recorded, "one of a kind" albums at his shows. The number will soon increase with plans to tour again with CocoRosie in Europe. Diplo and Dan Deacon are still his dream collaborators to experiment with a new style but in the meantime he hopes to make his other music project, Suckers, a priority.

Download this song in the Second Stage podcast.

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Email host Robin Hilton.

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