Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Listen: William Tyler - "Whole New Dude"

Last year, right about this time, Nashville guitarist William Tyler put out a record. That record, Impossible Truth, was rather unlike the multitude of other records released at the time or even the whole year. While bands/artists pumped out records that seemed to screech and keen for relevancy, Tyler's Impossible Truth was a revelation in its slow-building organic plod. An album of expansive, patient guitar work - it was an album that seemed much more content to draw absolutely no attention to itself, to lie in wait until the right listener, which the proper amount of appreciation for its supple melodies and silky smooth flow, came along.

Impossible Truth was such a slow burner that I'm rather surprised William Tyler can follow it up quite so soon. And yet, that's clearly a testament to Tyler's musicianship - overflowing with musical ideas but skilled enough to sift through them and give them full breadth of being. There's not a single uninteresting moment in 13 minute offering "Whole New Dude", the bright burning star of Tyler's upcoming Lost Colony EP. After a bit of casual unfurling, "Whole New Dude" gets off to a sumptuous start - William Tyler's bent guitar lines adding just the right splotches of coloring to the rest of Tyler's freewheeling tread. Though always tunefully melodic and pleasantly so, there's always a sense of freedom in Tyler's compositions - that suddenly he'll take an unexpected path and wind up on a very different musical ramble and that's no different here. On "Whole New Dude", Tyler flexes his guitar chops and masterful musicianship with the help of a band while also keeping things on the right side of unpredictable. Tyler's never the sort to suddenly jump ship on a good musical idea but he knows when its outlived its usefulness when all its had to say has been said and transitions to the next one with careful efficiency.

Theoretically, William Tyler's "Whole New Dude" is a song in three parts - it's rousing intro, the spry and spirited meaty development, and its bristling, pseudo-showy coda. The transitions all handled with a delicacy but not quite the sleight of hand you'd expect.

William Tyler's Lost Colony EP is out April 29th on Merge Records.

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