SONGS FOR WALTER
An Endless Summer Daze 7/10
Badly overdrawn boy: Manc lo-fi imp’s mirror to modernity
While teaching guitar in Manchester schools, fresh-faced troubadour Laurie Hulme conceived of Songs For Walter as a project to put his late grandfather’s life to music. Having ticked that box with his 2016 debut, Hulme’s second album turns its fresh, folky face to twentysomething trials; over-demanding jobs (“Squaring Circles”), surveillance culture (“Earwigging”) and the kind of urban loneliness that leads to falling into the arms of a neighbour whose favourite song is “Losing My Religion” (the twinkly “I Don’t Know Who You Are”). Imagine Elliott Smith with the slightly evangelical righteousness of a Momentum leafletter, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.