Performing under the moniker of Fish and Scale, German artist Roland Wälzlein takes on existentialist truths in his soul-stirring music. Wälzlein came to understand the preciousness of life at a young age when he underwent a serious heart operation at only six years old. Through silent retreats in later years, he saw a change in his attitude to existence as it is using his songs to delve into these experiences – the mark of a true storyteller.
Featured in various publications like Indie Dock Music Blog, Before We Go Blog, Sounds and Books and Less Than 1000 Followers, Fish and Scale is turning heads across the globe. In fact, he has been described as “the voice of nature” UK actor Chas Burns and even provided a movie soundtrack for Key Lime Voodoo on Amazon Prime. Yet, we are delving into the world of Fish and Scale not on Amazon Prime but with his latest single ‘Unmask Myself’.
Following his well-received folk track ‘You Can Call Me Love’, Wälzlein offers us an acoustic-inspired, contemporary folk single. As a fan of Tom Odell, I truly adore this type of pop meets folk sound. Yes, I might find some similarity to Tom Odell but Fish and Scale is truly unique standing out among the rest. The simplistic combination of a piano and guitar is exquisite being more impressive in its quietness than Rage Against The Machine’s loud ‘Killing In The Name’.
Far more emotional than ‘You Can Call Me Love’, ‘Unmask Myself’ is delicate in a rich, robust way. I am aware that all of his tunes are provocative and evocative, but for some reason, I find the latest single more breathtaking. It might be the poignant lyricism sending shivers down my spine. It might be the bold execution of such vulnerable messages. It might be the rawness and sentimentality. It might be all of these things, but I do know it seeps into my soul and leaves me with tears in my eyes.
In addition to his single, Fish and Scale released an official music video for ‘Unmask Myself’. Here simplicity is effective as Wälzlein adds a visual element to his beguiling song. A basic film showing Wälzlein exclusively with and without face paint, this music video expertly represents his vulnerability. The unmasking, so to say, showcasing fragility in a sophisticated way. Note: there are certain image transitions that can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.