For the moment, William Tyler is preoccupied with geography. Save for one, every single song title on the Nashville-based guitar maestro’s upcoming second album, Impossible Truth (out March 19 on Merge), references a location, either surreal (“Cadillac Desert”), psychic (“We Can’t Go Home Again”), or communal (“The World Set Free”).
In a recent teaser video for his forthcoming sophomore effort, Tyler shared some of the ideas and inspirations that wandered through his mind while he crafted the follow-up to his 2010 debut, Behold the Spirit. “Our country, like any other country, is an imagined community, a country of illusion,” he said, after describing nightmares of a Ronald Reagan-hosted end-of-the-world party. “We’ve mutually agreed upon terms of geography, history, and identity, yet those can change. Just ask a ghost town, or a river that’s been diverted, or a holder of an East German passport.”
The Best New Artist alum’s new instrumental effort feels just as elusive, if not transcendent. Painting a layered and hazy, John Fahey-indebted landscape, the Lambchop and Silver Jews associate comes across as travel-weary cartographer and six-string virtuoso all at once.
:audio=0:110907:playlist:William Tyler, Impossible Truth: