Prior to the formation of The Walkmen, Walter Martin played in Jonathan Fire*Eater—as did two other members of The Walkmen. The New York-based (but D.C.-originated) band featured Stewart Lupton on vocals, and although the band’s career was short-lived in the ‘90s, its influence in the indie-rock scene carried on. Lupton passed away at the age of 43 on Sunday, as Pitchfork reports, and his former bandmate and childhood friend Martin wrote a tribute to him which he posted on his Twitter and Facebook.
In the full tribute, which can be read on Martin’s Facebook page, Martin refers to a conversation he had with Lupton a few weeks ago, as well as to the poems Lupton had written and read to him—poems at once magical and real.
You can read one of Martin’s favorite poems by Lupton—sent by Martin to Stereogum—here.
The vapor of the otherworldly trail from Lupton’s words shone prominently in his lyrics as well, and one can only imagine their power won’t disappear with Lupton’s death. The Child Ballads was one of Lupton’s musical projects after Jonathan Fire*Eater, and in addition to posting the audio from a show at La Flèche d’Or in Paris from 2007, The Child Ballads’ Facebook page wrote in his honor, “R.I.P Stewart, you tried hard to make your world an exciting place”—a reference to lyrics from the group’s song “Cheekbone Hollows.” One recurring and particularly gripping line in this song is, “that ain’t half as bad as the shadow that’s caught in the hollow of a cheekbone.”
also paid tribute to Lupton as a band, referencing his effect on their careers.
Listen to music by Jonathan Fire*Eater and The Child Ballads below.