By Dale Henry Geist
It starts with a gently-plucked acoustic guitar, followed by a soft soprano voice promising not to get “too sentimental.” It’s answered by a robust baritone imploring, “What do I do?” Then the voices combine in a rich harmony, an anguished “I need to get my act together, I’m almost 49 years old”. The guitar gives way to an insistent pounding groove that builds until it bursts into the sunshine of its hook: the singer’s promise to “Walk You Home.” If that don’t get you in the feels, then you got no feels to get.
“Walk You Home” is the second single from “My Beautiful Enemy,” an 11-song “exploration of interpersonal and internal ruptures” by Jim Andralis and the Syntonics, scheduled for release on March 27. Andralis wanted Country Queer readers to hear it first, and I can see why.
I wouldn’t call the song country, and it’s not, on the face of it, queer, since it’s a duet between a woman (sung by Leslie Graves) and a man. But as a lyric-and-guitar-driven declaration of love as self-sacrifice, it’s well within the Americana wheelhouse. And Andralis’ queer country bona fides are indisputable: he currently co-hosts the country-themed hootenanny Grand Ole Pubry at Joe’s Pub in New York.
Here’s what Andralis says about “Walk You Home”: “A couple years ago I was riding my bike home from work in NYC and flipped over my handle bars. I cracked my ribs and went into a total spiral for a couple months.
When you’re young you just keep doing things that are dangerous. When I got married to Larry, all that changed. I wrote this song at a point where continuing to ride my bike felt like the most reckless and selfish act. But not riding my bike felt like embarking on the rest of my life as a cautious old man.
I’d locked my bike up right where I wrecked it. And every day I would walk by it and feel so guilty for ditching it. But the worst thing I could imagine was walking it home, putting it out to pasture.
And that’s where ‘Walk You Home’ came from.”
Andralis will debut the song live at Joe’s Pub in an album release show on March 28th. (Details here.)