William Tyler "Goes West (Merge)"
William Tyler’s new LP Goes West (Merge) is the opposite of Dylan going electric, and is just as illuminating. It’s not like William NEVER plays acoustic guitar on his albums or anything–his 2008 record Desert Canyon is mostly solo acoustic. But if you only know him from his widely heralded 2016 album Modern Country, then this record might come as a bit of a shock. But it’s not like there isn’t ANY electric guitar on the album, it’s just that he isn’t playing it. Who is? Oh, just Meg Duffy. Bill Frisell. NBD. A much more spacious album than his last, it would appear the “west” he has gone to in the album title is desert-heavy and wide open. As H.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger writes “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.” Check out the mesmerizing “Fail Safe.”