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William Tyler Imagines Ronald Reagan’s Atari Apocalypse in ‘Impossible Truth’ Teaser Video

william tyler, impossible truth

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.