Tag Archives: Karima Walker

How The Arizona Desert Shaped Karima Walker’s Nomadic New Record


Learning about an artist’s place of origin provides context on their creative upbringing. For the impressionistic music of Karima Walker—her latest album, Hands In Our Names, is a potent combination of sound collage, tape loop, atmospheric noise and soul-bearing Americana—place is not just context, but a participating force. Field recordings stomped and mulched through effected cassette players reflect the red desert around her hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

Punctuating the ambient passages are moments of more traditional, yet no less emphatic songcraft, often featuring Walker’s golden yet melancholy mezzo-soprano looped ad infinitum. Lyrically, Hands In Our Names finds Walker taking in her surroundings. “Night points you as a compass,” she breathes on “Holy Blanket,” “Venus rises o’er the mountains.” Later, on “We’ve Been Here Before,” “there’s a place you’ve never seen/Where the trees at midnight ring/’Neath diamond skies and soda springs…”

Throughout April, Walker performed on a double-headliner tour with label-mate Advance Base (fka Casiotone for the Painfully Alone). We caught up with Walker as she finished her tour, and discussed her latest release, favorite places to write, how to balance the imaginative with the traditional, and more.

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