Music From First Cow
***WILLIAM TYLER composed the music for First Cow, the new A24 film directed by Kelly Reichardt, almost entirely on several of his guitars and a dulcimer. In First Cow, Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America.
***CHECK STOCK!!! Received a 7.8 rating from Pitchfork. WILLIAM TYLER's "new record, Goes West, is the best music that he’s ever made. I’m sure of this because I know and love all of his music intimately, and this album moves me the most, and the most consistently. The first time I heard it was in the late spring in the Texas Hill Country, rolling between limestone and scrub. I was on a cleanse then—no alcohol, no drugs, no evil thoughts—and was astonished at the emotional clarity that the album held. It offered up a model for what I wanted my head to feel like. Goes West marks a sort of narrowing of focus for William’s music; it sounds as though he found a way to point himself directly towards the rich and bittersweet emotional center of his music without being distracted by side trips. Perhaps this is down to the fact that William only plays acoustic guitar on the album, a clear and conscious decision considering that he is one of Nashville’s great electric guitarists. The band that performs Goes West alongside William—including guitarists MEG DUFFY and BILL FRISELL, bassist and producer BRAD COOK, keyboardist JAMES WALLACE, drummer GRIFFIN GOLDSMITH, and engineer TUCKER MARTINE—is the best and most sympathetic group of players that William could have assembled to play these songs..."—M.C. Taylor, Durham North Carolina
***Modern Country is the fourth full-length album by guitarist and composer WILLIAM TYLER and his first recorded outside of his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It features an ensemble backing group consisting of multi-instrumentalist PHIL COOL (HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER, BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA), bassist DARIN GRAY (TWEEDY, JIM O'ROUKE), and percussionist GLENN KOTCHE (WILCO). The album was tracked at April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and finished in Nashville, recorded and mixed by JON ASHLEY, and produced by Tyler and BRAD COOK. While there is never a comfort zone in instrumental music, Tyler attempts to leave any perceived one behind with Modern Country. His first album for Merge, 2013’s Impossible Truth, found Tyler exploring the boundaries of composition for solo guitar in a manner that paid homage to everyone from Leo Kottke to Brian Wilson. It was an epic song cycle that veered from cathedral-like psychedelic hymns to pastoral folk melodies. In contrast, Modern Country finds Tyler exploring more focused melodic themes rather than ethereal wanderings. These aren’t pop songs, per se, but they are closer in spirit to Neu!, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and Bill Frisell. Primarily written while Tyler was on sabbatical in Oxford, Mississippi, where he stayed at the cabin of a family friend within a stone’s throw of William Faulkner’s house, Modern Country is a collection of songs about the vanishing America that still exists on back roads, in small towns, on AM radio stations. In an election year when so many certainties and assurances have vanished,...
***Lost Colony follows WILLIAM TYLER’s critically acclaimed album Impossible Truth. This limited-edition 12-inch features a new song “Whole New Dude,” a full band re-working of “We Can’t Go Home Again” from Impossible Truth, and “Karussell,” a cover of a Michael Rother (Neu!) song. “Whole New Dude” was born from a conversation with Mike Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) about Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind and how ancient peoples slowly transformed into what we could consider more “modern” thinking. Tyler and Taylor joked that the title of the book should have been “Whole New Dude” and it stuck. (STREET DATE - 4/29/2014)
***Impossible Truth was born on tour as WILLIAM TYLER was reading two books with an odd kinship while on long and lonely Midwestern drives: Barney Hoskyns’ Hotel California and Mike Davis’ The Ecology of Fear. Both center on the promise and psychosis of southern California, albeit from very different angles: Hoskyns tackles the naïve and narcissistic Laurel Canyon scene of the early seventies, while renowned social scientist Davis deals with the history of the destruction of Los Angeles, both in real and imagined disasters. The synchronistic tackling of these tomes inspired Tyler to compose a story rooted in apocalyptic expectation and bittersweet nostalgia. Or as Tyler puts it, this is “my ’70s singer-songwriter record; it just doesn’t have any words.” Impossible Truth will challenge your ideas of what an instrumental guitar record can and should be. As his friend and tour mate M.C. Taylor from Hiss Golden Messenger puts it, “William will worry a phrase—some tangled chordal wormhole—until you are certain it’s all that exists. He’ll take you over the stiles, he’ll love you up and down, and then he’ll make you cry for the world and what we’ve done to it. Willy T’s got the vampire blues. And there’s only one like him.” (STREET DATE - 3/19/2013)
Behold The Spirit
***NOW AVAILABLE ON CD!!! WILLIAM TYLER is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a guitarist who has spent the last several years recording and touring with SILVER JEWS and LAMBCHOP among others. In addition he has contributed to albums by artists as diverse as CHARLIE LOUVIN, CANDI STATON, and WOODEN WAND, as well as taking part in a large ensemble piece by composer RHYS CHATHAM. He also recently contributed a track to Tompkins Square’s acoustic guitar compilation, Imaginational Anthem Volume 4 : New Possibilities. Behold The Spirit reveals an astounding array of talents. In addition to his beautiful playing, Tyler is also an ace arranger, augmenting complex textures and various instrumentation with his lyrical compositions. A stunning, beautiful and varied guitar album for the ages.