Underground update: Sarah Walk – Indie musician, Minnesota native and dream achiever

Walk brings an empowered and electronic tone in her album, out August 28.

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Sarah Walk, a Minneapolis musician now based in Los Angeles, will release her new album “Another Me” on August 28. (Image courtesy of Sarah Walk, photo by Daniel Smith Coleman)

Meg Bishop

Sarah Walk, a 29-year-old Minneapolis musician turned Los Angeles indie-music scene local, is set to release her new album “Another Me” on August 28. A&E had the chance to chat with Walk about her Minnesota beginnings and musical aspirations. 

Walk grew up in Plymouth and didn’t know much about the Minneapolis music scene until high school. There was almost no pressure from other Minnesotan artists on Walk’s life and music when growing up — either to sound a certain way or make hit after hit.

“Growing up, I always gravitated toward the piano,” said Walk. “I think part of my sound was developed through these two guys in my band.” 

Walk was part of a local band from ages 13 to 22. The band’s most frequented venue was the 400 Bar, which was on located near the West Bank campus but is no longer in business. They also played at Minneapolis’ classic venues like Fine Line and 7th St Entry. Some of their shows were at 21+ venues, where they would have to be escorted out by security after playing. 

Other venues included college house shows, which the band showcased its music at while the members were in high school. One of the house shows Walk recalls took place in someone’s attic, and the band had to carry all the gear upstairs with no help from the partying college students.  

“No one would help us 16-, 17-year-olds, since they were in party mode,” said Walk. 

Attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities her freshman year was not for Walk — leading her to transfer to Berklee College of Music. She began at the University of Minnesota undecided about what to study. She was thinking about either the psychology or sociology tracks, but also began taking electives in music. For Walk, her band also had a higher chance of sticking together if she stayed in Minneapolis, which was part of the reason she initially chose to begin college at the University.

Leaving Minnesota and landing in Boston to attend Berklee, Walk majored in songwriting. Transferring allowed Walk to challenge herself. “I was forced to learn to listen to other musicians, learning to play with players who were better than me,” she said.

Although the internet categorizes Walk’s music as indie, she doesn’t know what genre to put her music in. “I’ve tried to be as honest as I can, never tried to replicate a sound,” she said. One of her personal slogans is “inspired over influenced.”

Walk is releasing her second full-length album next month. She created this record in an effort to push herself outside of what she had historically been producing. “This record is programmed and instrumental in a few elements,” she said. “Part of staying interested in what I’m doing is to try new things.”

Many of Walk’s beliefs behind her artistic process come from the Joni Mitchell quote: “They’re going to crucify you for staying the same. If you change, they’re going to crucify you for changing. But staying the same is boring. And change is interesting. So of the two options, I’d rather be crucified for changing.” 

It’s important to Walk to continuously step out of one’s comfort zone. “Another Me” will feature sounds such as electronic noise, drum programming and synths, which Walk had never previously explored. 

“There are a few songs on the new record where I’m playing on guitar, just discovering.” 

She untuned her guitar in search of new sounds. 

Although the sound is a big change, Walk had a greater purpose for her album. “The biggest change for me is the message behind the record. The first one was centered around love and heartbreak,” she said. “There are so many other things that women go through in life I really wanted to touch on there – being a queer woman in the world.”

Walk resides in Los Angeles, but since living outside of Minnesota, she has envisioned herself coming back and finally reconnecting with the Minneapolis music scene. “I would love to tap back into the scene here,” Walk said. “I definitely plan on coming back and playing next year.”