In a post-truth age, who needs words, anyway? Certainly not William Tyler, whose guitar talks the talk on Modern Country, his fourth album.
A former member of Lambchop, Kurt Wagner’s long-running Nashville-based country-soul collective, Tyler’s ambitions always pointed further out than just being a solo guitarist. When he released his debut in 2008 (under the name the Paper Hats), Tyler’s instrumentals mixed in drones, and subsequent releases have featured clattering avant jams (2014’s Blue Ash Montgomery cassette) and pedal steel-laced krautrock covers soaring towards the Western horizon (2014’s Lost Colony EP).
But like the genre it takes its name from, Modern Country is extremely accessible. Welcoming of every experimental deviance, the album firmly establishes Tyler as a link in the chain of experimental American guitarists who know that sometimes, lyrics just spoil the fun. –Jesse Jarnow