“Lose 8 Lives” by Orion Walsh and Virtuopath | New Release

words by Hanna Guenther

For the second time in less than a year, Orion Walsh and Virtuopath have teamed up on a new split cassette release, this time on last week’s release of Lose 8 Lives.

This split contains four songs from each artist. Virtuopath, a solo Lincoln singer-songwriter, occupies Side B. He keeps his set clean including only vocals and his guitar. While his voice resembles a punchier, rock sound and Walsh falls into the folk genre, both artists focus on simplifying.

With Virtuopath on the reverse side, Orion Walsh takes Side A. Traveling consistently from the Midwest to the Northwest to areas in Europe, Walsh maintains a kind of troubadour’s movement, guitar case in hand. After releasing The Tale of the Broken Compass last year, Orion performed at SXSW Festival and recently returned from a tour promoting his album. During his brief time back in Nebraska, Walsh teamed up with Virtuopath once again to release this collaborative cassette project.

Compared to his solo album with banjo strums and drum beats keeping the rhythm, Walsh lightens these four new songs by playing only his guitar and his harmonica. There are moments in each song where his harmonica alone serenades the listener, no words needed. His voice remains deep but takes on a calmer tone as he confesses seemingly inner thoughts to the listener. He softly shares pieces of himself, whether touching on old relationships in his song “California, Nebraska, Wherever” or stranding us on the side of the road with him in the “Kern County Line.” He leads us through places that hold significance for him.

Constantly moving due to touring and traveling, Walsh focuses on the concept of place in this newly released set. The song titles focus on specific location, as in “California, Nebraska, Wherever” and he sings lines like, “Where I’m going next I don’t know. I’m just trying to make it home” in his song “Florence to NYC.” This longing for home, whether found in relationships or in a specific building or place, resonates.

Walsh kicks off his summer tour, consisting of all house shows, in Omaha on June 16. He plans to finish his US tour by playing a handful of shows heading southward with Jordan-Morgan Lansdowne before heading overseas to Germany and Ireland for the second part of his European tour.

Listen to Virtuopath’s and Orion Walsh’s split release here.

Hanna Guenther is a Hear Nebraska editorial intern. Reach her at hannag@hearnebraska.org.