Ryley Walker

Deafman Glance

Dead Oceans

May 16, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Everyone's favorite jester-come-jazz/folk troubadour, Ryley Walker, returns after 2016's well-received Golden Sings That Have Been Sung with an equally hazily idiosyncratic collection. The opener, "In Castle Dome," develops a lethargic psych saunter that dominates the album's feel and rhythm. Largely, his trust in a drowsy pace is admirable, and a welcome break from ram-it-home hooks and tireless bombast.

The lazy gait of the record is most successful in the somnambulant anguish of "22 Days," and the Sun Ra-like free-form jazz experiment "Accommodations." Equally, the melodically soothing "Can't Ask Why" benefits from rising and falling guitar-line and wind chimes that circle it's center. But then Walker is rarely a prosaic artist, and as such the final third swells with merely the heavier touch of his playing. Conversely, lead single "Opposite Middle" offers as pace-y an interlude as he will stretch, and the result is quietly inflammatory.

By the time "Telluride Speed" spins the prolonged daze begins to lose its allure. But it is a record of elegantly wrought details, and it begs for a close listen free of life's many distractions. Similarly, the country-tinged "Expired" does little to outwardly impress, but then his apparent lack of regard for expectation or trends is much of Walker's appeal. The record is happily concluded with "Spoil With The Rest," and it's a gorgeous way to tie up the album's trance-like state.   

Deafman Glance feels like attempting to recall a half-remembered dream while in the throws of a gentle hangover, making it one for lazy days and Sundays. Consequently, the spoils of these incorporeal meditations are misty and transitory, and while they may not dazzle, they do have a tranquil charm and unique character. (www.ryleywalker.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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