Ryley Walker: The Halfwit In Me
Ryley Walker’s sound is one that epitomizes the ideas we view as foundational. It brims with an ambling quality, driven by adventure that constantly reveals facets of its jazzy-folk core. The dazzling arrangements always seems to be occurring as organically as the scenes we find grounded in nature while the end result never falls short of mystic musical inspiration. 2015’s Primrose Green was followed by 200 shows across the States and abroad but, at the end of the road our wayward wizard burned to continued his sorcery. The path he took would bear the fortune of his next album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung.
Set to release August 19th via Dead Oceans, this effort found the Chicago-based guitarist enlisting the aid of an outside producer for the first time. Working closely with LeRoy Bach (Wilco), the duo were able to expand on a style that is hard to imagine growing any more vast but “The Halfwit In Me” provides a mountain-sized example of where the album will take us.
Finger-picked guitars bounce on the surface of a meadowy pond with a whimsy akin to the unpredictable paths of fireflies in our intro. They are soon joined by a rustling rhythm section that bring the tune’s stroll to a skip before Walker’s stoic storytelling takes us by the hand and guides us to sites unseen. Eventually immersed in a harmonic blend of every moving piece we’re left with a final note detached from our tonal center, telling our ear that the tale is not yet finished...