Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen played a solo, seated show at Underground Arts on Monday. Best known for his work with Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles, this is his first ever solo tour. Rossen released his debut EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile in 2012. Rossen’s intimate performance included a mix of songs off his EP and older, unreleased songs. Jokingly referring to the venue’s set up feeling a bit like an open mic night, Rossen played a cover of Judee Sill’s “Waterfall” requested by someone in the audience. Rossen closed the show playing banjo to his song “Balmy Night,” leaving the stage to a long and loud round of applause and cheering.
Nashville-based guitarist William Tyler opened the show playing a collection of songs off his 2013 LP Impossible Truth. Playing a set of emotionally charged instrumental music, Tyler entranced the crowd with his multi-layered guitar arrangements. Check out a photo recap of the show below.
Instrumental guitarist William Tyler had a banner year in 2013. The Nashville native released his Impossible Truth LP to overwhelming critical and public admiration, played Bonnaroo and SXSW and toured across the country with friends Steve Gunn and Chris Forsyth. His contemplative and eye-opening American Primitive-style guitar playing is a revelation, helping to broaden the awareness of the thriving but somewhat hidden genre.
2014 seems to be starting off with the same kind of momentum, with Tyler announcing a supporting slot for Daniel Rossen‘s upcoming tour. The pair will stop at Underground Arts on April 14th; tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch Tyler perform “Cadillac Desert” off of Impossible Truth for The Line of Best Fit and then revisit his June 2013 Folkadelphia Session after the jump.
This week’s episode of Folkadelphia is now available to stream on SoundCloud, and brings you a new studio session by William Tyler (of Lambchop). Also featured on the two hour playlist is Portland-based folk collective Balto and singer-songwriter Matt Sucich, who both recorded a track for XPN2 Singer-Songwriter Radio. Listen to the show and check out full playlist below. You can catch Folkadelphia Sundays 3-5 p.m. and Mondays 9-11 p.m. live on XPN2.
It would be easy to talk about William Tyler and his new full-length record Impossible Truth (out now on Merge Records) in purely musical terms. Describing his virtuosic instrumental guitar constructions, his sense of adventure and experimentation, but also of his command of melody and hook-driven passages – how Tyler challenges his audience, while rewarding them for focused, repeated listens. We surely could discuss how Impossible Truth is a versatile album that functions not only as a gift for real music fans and critics to bask in for hours on end, but also how the album is refreshing and easy to listen to on a peripheral or cursory level, fun for the whole family for any occasion.
However, it would be better or perhaps truer, in my opinion, to examine William Tyler’s musical explorations through an emotional lens. I like to consider what emotions Tyler’s music induces within me. Overall, I feel a sense of wonderment and possibility. I guess it’s interesting that I feel limitless potential in the music, yet the album is titled Impossible Truth. But, maybe, Tyler is saying that he has stumbled on or even just approached what is impossible to know with certainty – the impossible truths of the world and of the cosmos. Every once in a while, during a tranced listen, I think I can hear Tyler channeling some kind of deeper understanding within his songs’ passages. We are humans though, so our capacity to act as a conduit for this higher plane of erudition is ultimately flawed. But Tyler is able to display the beauty and power of what we cannot fully know or understand in scenes from every day life via his musical snapshots; I hear it in the Appalachian tinged acoustic “Missionary Ridge” or the more surrealistic “Cadillac Desert.” Let’s continue to listen and hope we glean some impossible truths that William Tyler might have found.
William Tyler arrived at the WXPN Performance Studio in the afternoon of April 14th, 2013 before his concert at Ortlieb’s Lounge that night. Thanks to William and Merge Records for the session.
On a day that feels like the dawn of spring here in Philadelphia (let’s not look too far ahead on the weather forecast though), this video from Nashville musician William Tyler is the perfect accompaniment for a walk in the park or a daydream while gazing out the window. Awakening with a repeating melody of trills and twang, the song gradually builds to an intricate crescendo of fingerpicked wonderment that will keep the warmth around long after this weekend’s snow showers descend. Tyler performs at Ortlieb’s Lounge on April 14th; more information can be found here. Watch the Shaker Steps-recorded video of “We Can’t Go Home Again” below.