Trust fund kids and coroners are just a couple of the characters waiting to be discovered in PT Walkley's ambitious debut solo album. The story centers on Audrey Macy, a hipster living in the East Village who plays the bass and works hard to memorize poetry, in order to compensate for her apparent lack of intelligence. The plot thickens when Audrey decides to slip some pills into her father's birthday cake to speed her inheritance. This intriguing, gothic parody eventually culminates in "Somebody," the shining and triumphant anthem that concludes the 18 track album.
The character descriptions are so colorful and the instrumentation so whimsical that Mr. Macy Wakes Alone could easily be adapted for the stage. It's easy to imagine the characters dancing around the streets of Manhattan, as Audrey walks up to her dingy apartment, unaware that the song they're singing is about her. Much in the vain of the dramatic Seattle band Parenthetical Girls, PT Walkley expertly matches the dark and satirical plot elements with equally romantic string arrangements, eerily jubilant choral vocals, and brass interludes.
Interestingly, the line between the fantastical world the Macys inhabit and the real world can be hard to discern at times. On one hand, it seems obvious that many of the characters yearn for a happier life, but the lyrics of "Somebody" also express the all-to-real frustrations of struggling to be heard. Behind every good parody, of course, is some element of truth. What makes Mr. Macy Wakes Alone particularly engrossing is that interspersed in the ebullient and dramatic songs about Audrey and Calvin the Coroner, are songs like "Why" or "Mediocre" that seem to stem from a much more personal source. PT Walkley suggests that in addition to these more confessional songs, he, at times, uses the characters as "ventriloquist dummies to confess certain things or convey emotions."