in Review

William Tyler – Goes West

William Tyler’s last album of contemplative instrumental country/folk, Modern Country, has surely ended up being one of my most listened to albums of the past few years. This is because Tyler’s brand of spacey, unobtrusive guitar work is very easy to put on in the background when you’re working/writing, which I often find myself doing. Now, I’m not sure that that makes for the best music to actually write about, but I guess we’ll see what I can come up with…

The signature track off of Modern Country was the ironically titled “Highway Anxiety”, which consisted of 9 minutes of delicate synths and echo-laden guitar that was well-suited to wash away a lot of my anxiety when I discovered that album in late 2016. Goes West certainly has a similar vibe, but doesn’t quite go about achieving that vibe in all the same ways. Most noticeably, none of the tracks breach the six-minute mark, while Tyler’s previous albums tend to have at least one or two tracks that really stretch out, and let the expanse of Tyler’s guitar-playing linger.

But here, things feel a little smaller. Practically all of the music is based around acoustic guitar, which makes for lots of fingerpicking and circuitous arpeggios stringing you along. The album’s title along with its artwork makes for visions of some sort of alternative American frontier, where Tyler’s more eclectic brand of folk is what’s being played around campfires all over the Great Plains. Which is to say that like much of modern instrumental music that tends to catch on, it’s quite cinematic. Yet at the same time, is subtle enough that you can sit down, drink a cup of coffee, and go about your day while listening to it.

Favorite Tracks:Alpine Star“, “Rebecca“, “Virginia Is For Loners

  1. I noticed you’ve kept adding YouTube links to your favorite tracks post-2018 Music Reloaded and let me just say: I appreciate it.

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