Ryley Walker :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Catch Ryley Walker one day, and he may be forecasting his future as a bald, ponytailed guitar shredder; catch him another, and he's sketching out a scene from the mid-2000s, scheming to pick up a book of pop theology and some blog rock. But somehow, his new lp, Deafman Glance, makes space for the whole of Ryley, a young dude whose early records felt like lost Britfolk artifacts, but whose ubiquitous social media presence feels pretty damn modern.

A proggy, intricate, and often deadpan chunk of jazz-folk, it's also Walker's most personal record, one that finds the singer/songwriter opened up in unexpected ways, obsessing over debt, bus fare, and the lack of a master plan. "It's not very fun/Being a fun person," Walker sings on "Can't Ask You Why," and then as if acknowledging a tendency for overthinking, adding "And I can hear you sigh."

Recently, AD caught up with Walker on the road, to discuss how Chicago influenced the new album, honing a poetic voice, and why saying "stupid" things online can be a folk-rock boon.

Deafman Glance by Ryley Walker

Aquarium Drunkard: In the notes that accompanied the release of Deafman Glance, you wrote about how making it stressed you out. How do you feel about it now?

Ryley Walker: Like any other paranoid, fucked up artist, I loathe what I do one minute and love what I do the next. I like it, yeah.

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