When a record captures your imagination by its sparseness, it is a thing of inexplicable brilliance. On Impossible Truth, William Tyler strings together a set of eight entirely instrumental, guitar-centric compositions that will leave you breathless and star-gazing. Taken as a whole, the record evokes a literal and figurative rumination on the search for understanding, the wander lusting or truth seeking for which I bear an unapologetic and unwavering fondness.
But, how can an album without words generate an ostensible philosophical mindset? Through association and impressionistic sketches of desolate and expansive aural space(s), the pieces on Impossible Truth connects with a catalog of songs, soundtracks, and orchestrations stored in my musical subconscious that generate a place of peaceful mindfulness and exploration (including but not limited to Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You!, James Blackshaw, Brokeback, Tristeza, Morricone, Reich, Glass, Nyman, etc.). Recalling the Daoist/Taoist precept, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (or the pop culture distillation of said maxim, the Beatles’ “Within You Without You”), Impossible Truth is an invitation to venture into the wild regions of one’s consciousness and the synaptic gaps lodged in the oft underappreciated grey matter we all share. It is both a thrilling and curious ride, filled with moments of melodic ecstasy and beauty counterbalanced by melancholic and dirge-like interludes, a sketch of the emotional/philosophical roller coaster we endure in our travels. Perhaps this is all a fanciful interpretation of my own making, but with titles like “Country of Illusion”, “The Geography of Nowhere”, “We Can’t Go Home Again”, and “The World Set Free” (recalling to this ex-Lit Crit discontent, Barthes, Baudrillard, Wolfe, and Wittgenstein, respectively), the accidental listener cannot help but speculate on the larger possibilities contained within. However, you approach this Impossible Truth, one thing is certain, you will find solace and comfort in the undulating embrace of Tyler’s majestic tapestry of sound.
For the curious set, Tyler is yet another Nashville musician (seem to be lots popping around here) who has played with a number of other bands including Lambchop. As of this writing, he will play with local Chicago (indie) instrumental band Brokeback (of whom I wrote a couple of months back) at the Hideout (in Chicago). If you love technical mastery of musical instruments, I highly recommend checking both acts out; it will be less rock and more reverie but with that transcendent quality we rarely encounter in our day to day.