William Tyler - Goes West

By Ian Bremner

It seems silly to try to describe what makes William Tyler‘s music stand out among even the truly great guitar players. It’s less a matter of sound and technique as it is a visceral feeling. It’s entirely instrumental and it tugs at all of the human senses.

William Tyler’s 5th record, Goes West, invokes the feeling of all four seasons into the 38 minute run time. Numbers like Fail Safe and Not In Our Stars sound like glittering summer mornings, waking up to greet the day. Conversely, Rebecca and Our Lady of the Desert (featuring fellow virtuoso Bill Frisell) reflect the isolation of a cold snowy afternoon in the woods.

His last record title, Modern Country, gave a slight wink to the industry in William Tyler’s hometown of Nashville. Goes West is another nod to his surroundings, albeit a tad more literal. Tyler relocated west to Los Angeles and compiled a true all-star cast of band mates for this go around. Meg Duffy of Hand Habits and Bill Frisell accompany Tyler on guitar duties. Star producer Brad Cook from Hiss Golden Messenger plays bass. Rounding out the group is James Wallace on keys, drummer Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes, and engineer Tucker Martine, who has worked with one of the most impressive laundry lists you could think of ranging from My Morning Jacket and Modest Mouse to Mavis Staples and Courtney Barnett.

The west coast clearly suits William Tyler’s guitar playing style well. Goes West could soundtrack a full day’s worth of wandering the sidewalks, deserts or beaches soaking up the sights and smells of all.

Goes West is out on Merge Records. Listen via spotify/Buy 

Watch a live performance of Call Me When I’m Breathing Again

Official video for Fail Safe