William Tyler – Modern country (Merge)

Sublime, wistful, stoic American folk and country instrumentals and no greater antidote could you find this weather to the oily pantomime of Trump.

The album was informed by (back) road trips around the US over the last few years and there is a motorik pulse to be found in tunes like ‘I’m gonna live forever (If it kills me)’ and the synth drone of ‘Kingdom of Jones’. There’s a glorious ambient hum at work in tracks like ‘Gone clear’ and ‘The Great Unwind’.

The tunes are maybe sombre but always hopeful, looking up, often uplifting and inspiring.

Tyler’s mastery of the surge and drift of these wordless songs (instrumentals being no longer sufficient at this point) is a constant joy. There is a sense in them that familiar caricatures of the US are not to be trusted, a reminder that numerous nooks and crannies exist in Americana (as in America) that are beneath the radar of stereotype.

Another absolute triumph for pop music and humanity.


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