William Tyler, instrumental guitar wizard and Lambchop associate, has described his upcoming solo album Impossible Truth (out March 19 via Merge) as “my ’70s singer-songwriter record; it just doesn’t have any words.” Well, in the dreamy album teaser up above, the Best New Artist graduate talks a bit about himself and some of the ideas that’ve drifted through his head during the making of Impossible Truth, a record SPIN recently described as “both throwback and thoroughly modern, a journey both deeply spiritual and distinctly American.”
“I was born in the twilight of the Carter administration, at a time when solar panels were still on the White House, Heaven’s Gate wasn’t a flop, and Glenn Frey hadn’t sung on Miami Vice yet,” Tyler says over reflective guitar-picking in the Zack Wilson-directed clip. “I discovered focus at a young age. You have to when your birthday’s on Christmas. I never believed Jesus was a Capricorn, but it made sense to me that Elvis was.”
Tyler pontificates about the cultural and geographical landscape of the United States — describing fears of an apocalypse hosted by Ronald Reagan, a mushroom cloud on “an 8-bit Atari sky” — all while soundtracked by “Cadillac Desert,” the meandering third track off his forthcoming sophomore LP. “Our country, like any other country, is an imagined community, a country of illusion,” he says. “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.” Thoughtful stuff for a teaser video.
Watch the four-and-a-half-minute mood piece up top. And be sure to check SPIN on March 4, when we’ll be streaming Impossible Truth in its entirety, two weeks ahead of its official release.