William Tyler

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William Tyler

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 Cook (Hiss Golden Messenger, Blind Boys of Alabama), bassist Darin Gray (Tweedy, Jim O’Rourke), 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, Tyler doesn’t offer optimism or pessimism but rather a calm and measured commentary in our age of anxiety.


William Tyler Goes West

Alpine Star
Fail Safe
Not in Our Stars
Call Me When I'm Breathing Again
Eventual Surrender
Venus in Aquarius
Virginia is for Loners
Man in a Hurry
Our Lady of the Desert

William Tyler Modern Country

Highway Anxiety
I’m Gonna Live Forever (If It Kills Me)
Kingdom of Jones
Albion Moonlight
Gone Clear
Sunken Garden
The Great Unwind

William Tyler Deseret Canyon

Man of Oran
Parliament of Birds
The Green Cigar Kept Smiling
The Sleeping Prophet
Hermit Kingdom
Waltz of the Circassian Beauties
Crystal Palace, Sea of Glass

William Tyler Lost Colony EP

Whole New Dude
We Can't Go Home Again
Karussell (Michael Rother cover)

William Tyler Impossible Truth

Country of Illusion
The Geography of Nowhere
Cadillac Desert
We Can't Go Home Again
A Portrait of Sarah
Hotel Catatonia
The Last Residents of Westfall
The World Set Free