Lost Colony EP
Arriving so swiftly on the back of the wonderful Impossible Truth I’d understand if you found it (almost) impossible to believe how good this EP is but Tyler just continues to roll on, his playing moving from strength to strength, his sonic road-trip stretching out, journeying on; you can feel the blur of the scenery rushing past, window down, this is the soundtrack – the opening tour-de-force, Whole New Dude, plays out over 13 minutes and takes in Big Sur Bill Frisell before echoing the weave of Peter Buck from peak-era R.E.M.
This time it’s Tyler with a band, so drummer Jamin Orrall gets to set up a nice groove across Whole New Dude and pedal steel player Luke Schneider manages to sneak in and out, darting in and around the nonchalant scurry of Tyler’s notes. There’s warm prods from bassist Reece Lazarus. We Can’t Go Home Again returns to the Frisell mode, hints of Richard Thompson’s instrumental work too, an extended intro this time before the drums roll in. Like Thompson, Tyler is able to subvert the Celtic influences, setting up a version of Americana that drifts toward – and then distinctly away from – British folk.
And if there’s anyone doing a better job than Nels Cline when it comes to segueing between country and Krautrock then Tyler shows it here, on the opening two numbers it’s hinted at but a cover of Michael Rother’s Karussel makes the connection overt. Here we have a driving rhythm and the guitar and pedal steel just surge on ahead, like cars locked in a stalemate driving alongside one another.
Tyler’s a wizard and this EP is an incredible showcase of his talents – perhaps an easier bite-sized offering than the whole albums. But at 27 minutes here we’re sneaking up on album-length anyway. This is all that needs to be said.
And Tyler knows that.