Tuesday, March 26, 2013

REVIEW: William Tyler - Impossible Truth

We wrote about William Tyler's Impossible Truth on Feb. 2 (WYMA post here). The album is out this week on Merge. It's an expansive, beautiful, somewhat psychedelic and decidedly American album. No words, just guitars - but it's no less evocative for that. In fact, I think that eschewing vocals allows Tyler to use the dizzying variety of guitar styles and rhythms to bring up his emotional reaction to America at present, and to bring up memories and ghosts of America past. It really is amazing how one man with one guitar (accompanied strategically by another guitar here and there) can cover so much ground.

Check out "Cadillac Desert":

He's channelling John Fahey, Skip James and, certainly, contemporaries like David Pajo, Silver Jews and Will Oldham (the latter two with whom he's played on previous projects), but he's taking the tradition and going in his own direction. This is very thoughtful music - well-played, with exquisite use of both sound and silence.

Here's a video of Tyler playing "We Can't Go Home Again" from Shaker Steps:

The album was recorded and mixed at Beech House in Nashville and co-produced by Tyler and Mark Nevers and features guest appearances from Chris Scruggs, Luke Schneider, Roy Agee, and Scott Martin. It's highly recommended - both the album, and any opportunity you have to see him live. He's on tour:

Apr 04 Winston-Salem, NC – Phuzz Phest
Apr 09 Athens, GA – Green Room
Apr 10 Asheville, NC – Double Crown
Apr 11 Durham, NC – The Pinhook
Apr 12 Washington, DC – 9th and the Beats
Apr 13 Kingston, NY – BSP (w/ Richard Buckner)
Apr 14 Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s
Apr 16 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge (early show)
Apr 17 Portland, ME – Space Gallery
Apr 18 Cambridge, MA – Middle East Upstairs
Apr 19 Montreal, QC – O Patro Vys
Apr 20 Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar
Apr 21 Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog
Apr 22 Detroit, MI – Lager House
Apr 23 Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme
Apr 24 Iowa City, IA – Trumpet Blossom Cafe
Apr 25 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue and 7th St Entry
Apr 26 Chicago, IL – Hideout
Apr 27 Indianapolis, IN – Do317 Lounge

And, for now, you can stream it at Merge's website, so you can listen before you buy.

William Tyler at Merge Records

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