Will Schube is the second cousin, thrice removed of John Fahey.
William Tyler creates songs that unfold in infinite layers. His guitar is heavy and his compositions are extremely dense.His latest full-length, Impossible Truth, is full of those moments. My particular favorite is the swaggering drone romp, “Cadillac Desert.” It doesn’t stray far from its initial template, but part of Tyler’s skill is his ability to let the listener fall into the music and be swallowed whole by it. Impossible Truth is almost an hour long but rarely feels that length. Whether this is an attractive trait for music listeners varies from individual to individual. I personally find it mesmerizing, with each subsequent listen bringing an entirely new listening experience.
If one were to file a complaint against Tyler’s music, it might be similar to what solo guitar music is often guilty of: individual pieces have a tendency to blend together into one swirling, album-length song. Individual compositions don’t differentiate themselves in particularly distinct ways. Tyler is less guilty of this than others, but much of Behold the Spirit sounds like any and every specific moment on that record.
It’s what makes it so wonderful to see his latest single, “Whole New Dude”, explore slightly new territory. The soaring lap steel is a new weapon, as is the colorful percussion. These flourishes don’t amount to stark differences (in comparison to his earlier releases)—this is still clearly a William Tyler track—but the steady progression of the track’s different sections reveals a more traditional song-writing craft that Tyler had yet to display before the release of this single. The track is the first taste from his forthcoming EP, titled Lost Colony (out 4/29). Whether the title suggests a group of songs unwilling to conform to the habits of Tyler’s discography remains to be seen. As for the thirteen minute “Whole New Dude”, I’m sure of this: it would still be great if it were twice the length and half as good.