Greg MacPherson's Figure Walking confronts futility of commercial success on debut album

Greg MacPherson's Figure Walking confronts futility of commercial success on debut album

A brand new album from Winnipeg-based Greg MacPherson is due out in just a few days, but this time, he's not doing it solo.

MacPherson has teamed up with drummer Rob Gardiner for his latest project, Figure Walking.

It's the result of more than six years of playing together, touring together and rejecting expectations that MacPherson would always go it alone.

"I couldn't play music alone forever. I want to play with other people. I want to collaborate," said MacPherson. "We thought, you know, let's start from scratch and create a new project and be a unit and do this together."

Figure Walking isn't a major departure from MacPherson's usual sound. He's still on guitars, keys and vocals, while Gardiner is on drums, but, MacPherson said, the approach is different.

"We have long car rides together as a duo where we talk about nostalgia and society, and I think one of the issues we have is there's so much expectation on individualism now and people are made to stand on their own two feet – there's this expectation. And I think you can't," said MacPherson. "This album kind of delves into those sorts of ideas."

The new album, The Big Other, is due out April 28, and MacPherson says the goal is simply to "make audiences dance."

"There's a futility in trying to achieve commercial success with music. If it happens, it'll happen," he said.  "We'll tour, we'll sell records … but the goal is really to make people move."

In particular, he said, because of an increasing feeling of collective isolation.

"Even though we have these Facebook pages and Instagram sites, we're supposedly very much more connected to one another. There's a sense of competition in that that's isolating," he said. "So many of us are isolated … I think music and live music in particular is a really direct way of being together in a positive environment."