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William Tyler’s ‘Whole New Dude’ Is a Rootsy Road-Trip Epic

William Tyler "Whole New Dude"

William Tyler never shies away from the Big Themes. Last year’s Impossible Truth, his second LP under his own name and first for Merge, was a finger-picking paean to the destruction of Los Angeles informed by heavy tomes like Mike Davis’ Ecology of Fear and Barney Hoskyns’ Hotel California, and evoking American roots music at its most expansive.

“This is cyclical, spiritual, innately visual music, as striking in the background as it is intense on headphones,” wrote SPIN’s David Bevan.

“Whole New Dude,” a song from the Nashville guitarist’s upcoming Lost Colony EP, is cut from similarly generous cloth. The title stems from a conversation Tyler had with Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor regarding Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (short version: Primitive Monkey Person discovers fire, straightens up into a Whole New Dude). Meanwhile, the song itself is a reworking of “Man of Oran,” featured on Tyler’s 2008 LP Deseret Canyon, released under his Paper Hats alias. Running just over 13 minutes, the instrumental is as lush as the summer day is long, full of twists and turns that’ll have you jonesing for the open road.

Lost Colony, featuring Tyler (guitar, keyboard), Reece Lazarus (bass), Jamin Orrall (drums, percussion), and Luke Schneider (pedal steel guitar) is out April 29 on Merge Records. The record is rounded out by a full-band reworking of Impossible Truth‘s “We Can’t Go Home Again” and a cover of “Karusell,” by Neu!’s Michael Rother. Listen below, and marvel as your monkey brain expands.