SpaceWalker's magical mystery tour
The Sacramento one-woman band takes on hip-hop, self-discovery and unicorns
April Walker admits her first stage name “Miss Mars, Queen of Interstellar Beats” was a little silly—and ridiculously long.
But the cosmic sentiment remains with her new title, SpaceWalker. It’s not so much that Walker is obsessed with stars and planets, rather, she’s always felt a little out there.
She grew up in Fairfield, in a religious household that didn’t understand her eccentric creativity and wandering mind as a teenager. Her parents sent her away to a Christian therapeutic boarding school in Utah. And when Walker returned home, she hadn’t changed the way her parents or the school wanted. Instead, she had purchased her first guitar and joined a bubblegum punk band.
“My main goal right now is to be an example for other people—of pushing through adversity to be your true self and finding the people that accept that,” Walker says.
Walker moved to Sacramento three years ago, creating her SpaceWalker persona around the same time. Originally more of a singer-songwriter project, Spacewalker now performs as a one-woman-band via loop pedal. She slowly builds soundscapes with her voice and guitar—she also plays keys, drums and electric kazoo—while, oftentimes, a dancer with a unicorn mask grooves in the background. Walker might be wearing a Sailor Moon costume. It’s all part of creating an engaging, unusual live show.
Considering her last two bands played nu-metal and rockabilly, Walker’s eclectic style feels remarkably grounded in hip-hop. She often soulfully sings or raps over beats, but she also moves through punk, indie rock, reggae and electronica as well. It works.
“I’ve been searching for my niche but it just dawned on me that being versatile and being able to do a whole bunch of different things might be my niche,” she says.
Her debut EP Subculture Submarine is definitely not of the highest quality, but the songs show serious promise: cool song structures, an affinity for wordplay and an obvious range in abilities. Now, Walker is working on her first full-length album with a paired instrumental EP called The Infinity and Beyond.
“Subculture Submarine was kind of me knocking on the door and introducing myself, and this next one is going to be me kicking the door down,” Walker says.
That means more genre-bending in a “more intricate and wild” manner. While writing, Walker says she’s mostly been influenced by old-school hip-hop, like Del the Funky Homosapien, and experimental rock, like Tame Impala. The instrumental EP, however, will be more synth-driven—a style teetering on video game soundtracks. And like Subculture Submarine, The Infinity and Beyond will be a concept album following the protagonist SpaceWalker on her journey of self-discovery. In this upcoming chapter, she will discover her true power when a unicorn bumps her with its horn.
And like that transformative bump, the unicorn references are no accident.
“It’s become a symbol for me,” Walker says. “It’s about believing in things that people say aren’t real and being able to achieve the unachievable. It’s just the fact that there’s magic everywhere—even if it’s not the kind that you see on TV, even if it just happens to be some girl in a unicorn mask that you didn’t expect.