Music From First Cow [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
I’m excited to hear this – firstly because it’s a new offering from William Tyler. And I’ve followed him across EPs and albums and will listen to anything that features him. Secondly it’s a movie soundtrack and he’s been making his own sonic journeys that feel so perfectly suited to scoring films; two of his guitar hero/touchstones are Mark Knopfler and Richard Thompson and they’ve both excelled in this area. So it all feels right.
And though I’ve yet to see First Cow (I will, it sounds fantastic) I’m straight in to Tyler’s musical world he’s built for the film.
But to the movie first – it’s a Jonathan Raymond screenplay based on his own book The Half Life) and it’s directed by Kelly Reichardt. She and Raymond have collaborated before and she has the perfect eye for framing anti-capitalism stories of a simpler life; a rural life.
Tyler works with banjos and guitars to give some colonial feel to his musical cues, there’s also some integration of movie dialogue – which I always like; the film’s score becoming its own audio movie.
Opening track, First Cow In The Territory, reminds me – with its plinkle-plonks – of Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman’s sublime Ravenous soundtrack. An Opening has a more familiar Tyler vibe to it, the guitar line shining.
Cookie’s Theme takes a very Steve Gunn-like guitar line borne of the Celtic folk-blues rounds. Arriva, River Dreams and A Clearing In The Field bring mandolin and banjo sounds out in their short, evocative moments. And then with penultimate track, The Separation, we get Tyler’s solo acoustic guitar stretching out over seven minutes. And the final piece, A Closing, is an acoustic rendition of An Opening. Very Richard Thompson-esque.
The music will mean more when heard with the images it was created for – of course. And as Tyler releases go this is a slight album – just 26 minutes. But it fits in nicely alongside other EPs in his catalogue. A wee stopgap before he creates the latest album; a new journey.
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