william tylerWhile Impossible Truth may only be William Tyler’s second solo album, chances are you’re familar this Nashville-based guitarist. For more than a decade, he’s been the go-to six-string stylist for such heavyweights as Lambchop and Silver Jews. Despite (or perhaps as a result of?) having studied under Kurt Wagner and David Berman, two of the best lyricists in all of indie rock-dom, Tyler’s recordings under his own name are wholly instrumental affairs. That’s just fine, though — his guitar speaks volumes. It’s tempting to slot Impossible Truth in the John Fahey/Takoma School niche thanks to Tyler’s deft finger picking certainly. But where so many of Fahey’s disciples are doggedly minimalist, Tyler’s vision is positively technicolor, layering gorgeous sounds — moaning pedal steel, triumphant brass sections, reverb-laden electric twelve-strings and more — over his majestic compositions. A close comparison might be Jim O’Rourke’s classic Bad Timing, which applied a similarly maximal approach to the Takoma School. But Tyler’s vibe is much warmer and melodic than the ever-cerebral O’Rourke — in fact, if there’s anything to complain about here, it’s that Tyler’s melodies verge on being too pretty. Then again, he closes the album with a feedback/drum machine freakout, so no one will accuse him of lacking edge. words/ t wilcox

MP3: William Tyler :: Cadillac Desert

8 Responses to “William Tyler :: Impossible Truth”

  1. Very nice song. Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much for turning me on to this artist! I’m now really looking forward to picking up the album when it comes out.

  3. Bring on more instrumental musicians!

  4. […] William Tyler — ”Cadillac Desert” An instrumental cut of a new solo record by William Tyler, who’s best known as guitarist in Lambchop and the Silver Jews. The song moves in similar downbeat, country-influenced territory to those two bands, although the whole thing is lent weight and dramatic effect by portentous reverb and some unexpected distortion. The result falls somewhere between Jackie-O Motherfucker and Paris, Texas, and we highly recommend it. Get it at Aquarium Drunkard. […]

  5. […] This week we catch up with William Tyler, who’s been touring behind his second solo lp, Impossible Truth, released earlier this year via Merge. It’s one of our favorite records of the year – […]

  6. Thanks Justin you stay on top because you truly know art. William Tyler is the type of artist I was hooked on in my glory years as a California born and bred Waterman. Highway 1 up the coast always called for the perfect music on my cassette deck as I watched the beautiful landscape of my Golden State roll by along with the song of the seagulls and seals who added to the Sypmphony of Life. Thanks again Brother. You are my musical archeologist along with Scottie D….

  7. […] in addition to a constant touring schedule, most recently in support of his magnificent new album Impossible Truth (Merge), he is co-owner, with his sister Elise, of the great Nashville music venue and restaurant […]

  8. […] plenty of road-tripping in the past year, touring nonstop in support of last year’s masterful Impossible Truth. The Nashville guitarist was playing solo shows during that time, but Lost Colony is a full-band […]

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