Tyler Ramsey : The Valley Wind
Anyone who has followed the side career of Band of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey will know that the "quiet guitarist on the right" is one hell of a songwriter in his own right.
The Valley Wind is the follow up to his brilliant solo album A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea, in which he proved himself as more than just a worthy addition to Band of Horses' sound and shape. So much so that he was even given partial writing credit on a few of the Infinite Arms tracks, and a song of his own, Evening Kitchen, which in my opinion is one of the best tracks on the album.
On this new release, Tyler does what he does best across the nine tracks, which is offer up some beautiful songwriting and guitar playing. His acoustic finger-picked style flows across each song, and the instrumental opener Raven Shadow sets the mood perfectly. On songs like 1000 Blackbirds, Tyler crafts beautiful imagery with subtle accompaniment to create his own post-Neil Young vibe that could easily be given more room and space on whatever Band of Horses record next.
On the topic of arrangement and accompaniment, Ramsey manages to include a full bad on most songs without overdoing anything and losing the sol of the song. Each instrument is thoughtfully mixed and only added when necessary, creating a sound that is that of a solo musician colouring his songs, rather than getting carried away and drowning them.
Tyler appeals to anyone who enjoys the work Neil Young, The Middle East or earlier Band of Horses tunes, and has done a stellar job in not only following up his previous solo album, but bettering it.
BY CAM EWART
Best Track: 1,000 Birds
If You Like These, You'll Like This: BAND OF HORSES, NEIL YOUNG, RYAN ADAMS, THE MIDDLE EAST, NICK DRAKE
In A Word: Capable