Richard Walters Announces New Solo Album ‘Murmurate’; Releases Lead Single “After Midnight”

July 7, 2023 BY Jason Currell

Whilst the prolific Oxfordshire musician has been receiving praise of late for his work with LYR (alongside poet laureate Simon Armitage and Patrick Pearson) and under the moniker of Sun Lo (in his recent collaboration with ATTLAS), ‘Murmurate’ will be the first collection of songs to be released in Walters’ own name since 2020’s ‘Golden Veins’.

Leading the way with “After Midnight”, it’s a song that finds Richard pairing lyrics laced with a gentle sense of humour to starry arrangements reminiscent of The National at their most simmering, or ‘Tunnel of Love’-era Springsteen at his most tender.

Painting a scene that will be familiar to anyone who has reached a calmer stage of life , “After Midnight” recalls the Herculean effort it can take to hit the town as you get older, and the unspoken relief that can come with calling the cab back. As Richard explains

My attempt at being Springsteen! The older I get, the more home-based I become. It’s a feeling I’ve noticed other friends my age expressing. So it’s a middle aged anthem about not wanting to be out on the town post-midnight, about the beauty of the quiet life and the taxi home.”

Characterful and confessional, intimate and intricate, “After Midnight” follows recent teaser track “Move On”, with both opening wide the spectrum of emotions that ripple through Walters’ upcoming album ‘Murmurate’.

Like the new generation of lockdown babies that have since taken their first steps, Walters’ new album was born out of the pandemic, but by no means inspired by it. Sketched out during those isolating times and inked-in during the colourful rush of social and creative hook-ups that immediately followed, ‘Murmurate’ is not another “lockdown album”, but rather a reflection of the curious period that followed. Homing in on those feelings of waking up in the post-pandemic world to the realisation that you too have changed, Walters explains:

“When the world started to wake up again post lockdown I sprinted towards the door; I bolted, with unbelievable enthusiasm and joy, and I fell. I wiped out a fair few times in my desire to get back into a routine, to return to normality. I eventually found myself moving back from the bustle and noise, a combination of anxiety and a previously unearthed desire for more and more calm…. For me this is not a lockdown record. It was largely written in 2022, post weirdness, but many of the songs do tap into that sense of post-lockdown-anxiety (PLA!?) and the mixed up, confused feeling of needing to be elsewhere but feeling the tug of home”.

Giving a voice to the push and pull of nuanced thoughts and emotions he experienced, these mixed feelings soon began to form the spine of his new body of work. Take the new single “After Midnight”, an anthem for homebodies and that overwhelming need for the expected, well-worn and loved. Or “Anchor”, a response to Walters finding himself away from his daughters for the first time in almost 20 months. Elsewhere, “Salt” and “Skye” both vocalise Walters’ need to be on the move, to get back to unknown landscapes, to escape the claustrophobia of the town or city, while other songs on the record explore the tension that arose from life picking up where it left off, his relationships at home and the small tremors they created. A touching tribute to the much missed “Philip Seymour Hoffman”, serves as further reminder of just how much the world has changed in the 10 years since his passing, let alone the axis-shifting past few.

An album that often ruminates on our human need for real-world relationships and importance of meaningful connections with those closest to us, it was a theme that also played into the intimate way in which ‘Murmurate’ was recorded. And wherein the album would find its title…

“When it comes to music, throughout lockdown I was desperate to be in the room with other people making things again. In my opinion, Zoom just doesn’t cut it when it comes to finding common musical ground and building things up” says Walters. “That’s where the title ‘Murmurate’ comes from – I just wanted to feel that unison again, to move in time with other songwriters and musicians, to flock and gather and soar a little bit, even if the distance from my homelife made me feel torn from time to time.”

Settling-in at Eastcote Studios in London in 2022, Richard reconnected with producer, multi-instrumentalist and friend Eliot James, with the pair fleshing out Walters’ new songs with many of the myriad instruments to be heard across it. Within their close creative circle, Eliot’s 11 year old son Leland James was also invited in to burnish the record with the elegant cello accompaniments that can be heard throughout, whereas guest vocalist Lydia Oliver can be heard laying down her soothing backing vocals across many of the album’s tracks, and most prominently on the beautiful duet “Locked Up Never Fade”.

Taking inspiration during the recording process from the winsome and spacious dream-pop of Beach House, to the aching elegance of Phosphorescent, or the accomplished storytelling of John Martyn; all of these influences and so much more can be heard flowing through ‘Murmurate’. Combining unassumingly complex arrangements and openly heart-on-sleeve songs, it’s an album that graciously shifts from nocturnal piano ballads (“All Over”), to sprightly folk/pop poetry (“Long Way Down”), darkly lilting lullabies (“Open Everything”) to longing, love-lorn duets (“Locked Up Never Fade”).

With all tracks performed and written by Richard Walters, ‘Murmurate’ was recorded, produced and mixed by Eliot James, before receiving its final mastering by Dyre Gormsen. It is released on the Nettwerk album on 17 November 2023.


An artist, performer and songwriter based in the UK, Richard Walters has amassed over 100 million streams across his five critically acclaimed albums and four EP’s to date. Since his debut release in 2005, his music has featured on a number of TV shows including Grey’s AnatomyCSI: Miami and Tin Star, while receiving praise from titles including The GuardianClash, Line Of Best Fit and other tastemaker press.  Richard’s solo releases have also gained notable support from BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Guy Garvey, plus BBC Radio 2’s Jo Whiley and Dermot O’Leary.

Sought-out by stars including Grammy-winner Joe Henry, British icon Alison Moyet and Oscar nominated actress and singer Florence Pugh, Walters has also lent his talents to influential electronic artists including Kx5SolomunSonny FoderaSultan + Shepard and more.

A member of the group LYR (with poet laureate Simon Armitage and Patrick Pearson, who release their second album ‘The Ultraviolet Age’ on 30th June); Richard also released the album ‘Shapes In My Head’ under the name Sun Lo, a collaboration with ATTLAS, earlier this year. He will release his new solo album ‘Murmurate’ in November 2023, with a headline UK tour to follow.


24 Nov – BRISTOL, UK @ The Louisiana

25 Nov – OXFORD, UK @ Jericho Tavern

29 Nov – MANCHESTER, UK @ The Castle Hotel

30 Nov – LONDON, UK @ The Grace

Tickets on sale now: