Similar artists

Albums

$8.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 18, 2018 | Dead Oceans

With his ragtag, big kid look, Ryley Walker seems to be emerging from an anything goes drinking party. But the young man has come a long way. Addictions, alcohol and drugs are but a recent memory. He decided to take charge of his own destiny, launch a transition phase that would eventually strip him from his 19-gin-and-tonic-Ryley nickname. Particularly gifted at guitar picking, he possesses a unique sense for musical phrase. With Deafman Glance, he detaches himself from his older image in a very personal album, probably the most autobiographic of all. Ryley Walker has always expressed a particular affection for Chicago. He enjoys the atmosphere created by the architecture, the dreary feel of the city, the oddities, the strong smells and pollution, the beauty in its imperfections… Deafman Glance probably draws from this Chicago sound that combines jazz, folk and psychedelic. The young artist dove into jazz improvisations, taking the time to soak in the notes before adding the vocals. It’s worth mentioning that Ryley Walker has acquired a certain musical maturity that helps him play with silences. As for the vocals, he opted for almost spoken lyrics in the mould of a Merle Haggard, but in his own dark and broken style. One can picture the artist wandering the dark streets of a city at night, before comforting himself with a few more joyful ballads. Deafman Glance immerses the listener in a world of quirky mysticism roamed by spellbinding guitar solos. Hence it comes as no surprise to learn that the artist draws inspiration from the likes of John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Nick Drake and Tim Buckley. However, he has the wonderful ability to blend cynical humour with psychedelic jazz ballads through wacky lyrics like on 22 Days: My life is chicken scratch, sometimes baby you can’t sell the same shit back. A form of burlesque poetry that perfectly befits the character and is reminiscent of a few Scott Walker albums. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
$13.49
$8.99

Pop - Released November 16, 2018 | Dead Oceans

Hi-Res
Ryley Walker cultivated a reputation as an internet jester so news that he decided to cover the unreleased Dave Matthews Band album The Lillywhite Sessions initially seemed to be a prank. Walker may crack wise on Twitter, but he takes his music seriously, so his version of this shelved 2001 album is very sober indeed. Sobriety isn't a word associated with DMB at the dawn of the 2000s. Matthews' love of drink isn't hidden -- the man owns his own line of wine, Dreaming Tree -- but he imbibed a little bit too much during the recording of The Lillywhite Sessions, a move that coincided with a general aimlessness within the ranks after the group vaulted to superstardom. Eventually, drummer Carter Beauford instigated the shelving of The Lillywhite Sessions -- so dubbed because it, like its three predecessors, was produced by Steve Lillywhite; the record was never officially titled -- but the group didn't abandon the material, choosing to revive nine of its 12 songs for 2002's Busted Stuff. By that point, The Lillywhite Sessions became one of the first unreleased albums to leak on the internet, its circulation assisted by DMB fans who were already trading live tapes. Despite Busted Stuff featuring renditions that weren't dramatically different in arrangement, The Lillywhite Sessions retained a cult following because it had a downer vibe unique among DMB albums. Certainly, that dark atmosphere -- dubbed "sad bastard" by Matthews -- drew Walker to the record, but his version of The Lillywhite Sessions isn't especially gloomy. At times, he ratchets up the darkness -- "Diggin' a Ditch" opens with a furious open-string guitar drone, his "Bartender" veers into claustrophobia, "Monkey Man" is turned into a cloistered clutter -- but he also keeps an eye on both Matthews' elliptical songs and DMB's loose-limbed jazz fusion. In other words, Walker plays it exceedingly straight, even when he's delivering good-time numbers like "Kit Kat Jam." This po-faced sincerity winds up underscoring Walker's debt to Dave Matthews Band -- they now seem like a clear influence on his adventurous folk-jazz -- while also highlighting the imagination behind the original set of songs. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$8.99

Pop - Released March 31, 2015 | Dead Oceans

Guitarist Ryley Walker follows All Kinds of You, his 2014 debut full-length, by delving deeper into some of the abstract jazz and psych-inflected folk-rock that permeated several of its tracks. On Primrose Green -- his debut for Dead Oceans -- he doesn't worry about putting his own signature on his tunes; this record is all about playing music he loves with people he respects. Though these are original songs, their inspirational roots lie in late-'60s and early-'70s sources. He's found a host of willing Chicago collaborators from the worlds of jazz and improv to assist, including cellists Fred Lonberg-Holm and Whitney Johnson, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer Frank Rosaly, keyboardist Ben Boye, upright and electric bassist Anton Hatwich, and electric guitarist Brian Sulpizio. Less than a minute into the opening title track, one can hear the very spirit of Tim Buckley -- one of several Walker muses here -- coming through the ether (or smoke, such as it were, since it is titled for a particular strain of pot). Eastern modes and droning psych are rung out on a 12-string, piano, electric guitars, vibes, and upright bass (the latter recalling Danny Thompson, who played with Buckley on the London concert issued as Dream Letter). Walker's voice swoops and sails, floats and hovers through his words about getting high. "Summer Dress" moves on (a bit) to widen the circle and embrace John Martyn's early-'70s sound inside Buckley's elastic chamber jazz approach. Sulpizio's guitar and Adasiewicz's vibes send this one into a darkly grooving stratosphere. "Same Minds" is so silvery and mercurial, one can feel Martyn's ghost in the mix. The instrumental "Love Can Be Cruel" evokes Brian Auger's sense of space and motion with wafting electronic noise grounding the tune in the 21st century. Speaking of Auger, the twilit psych-jazz of "Sweet Satisfaction" recalls the keyboardist's Trinity band with singer Julie Driscoll (now Tippetts), though Buckley's sense of elongated glossolalia still holds sway over the singer's vocal. Walker's killer fingerstyle guitar artistry isn't left off this record; it's present to stellar effect on "Griffiths Bucks Blues," "On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee," "The High Road" (a duet with Lonberg-Holm), and the closing "Hide in the Roses." The latter track is informed by Bert Jansch's and Davy Graham's readings of the British Isles folk tradition. It's these rootsier tunes that add glue to the sensual, stoned, free-spirited cuts to make this a cohesive album. With its ready absorption of, homage to, and engagement with the past, Walker's skills as a guitarist and arranger make Primrose Green as musically compelling as it is willfully indulgent. ~ Thom Jurek
$13.49

Pop - Released August 19, 2016 | Dead Oceans

$8.99

Pop - Released August 19, 2016 | Dead Oceans

Rock - Released April 15, 2014 | Tompkins Square

Download not available
After two limited-edition cassettes, a single, and 2013's fine West Wind EP, fingerstyle guitarist, singer, and songwriter Ryley Walker delivers All Kinds of You, his debut full-length for the discerning Tompkins Square. Produced and mixed by Cave's Cooper Crain, Walker fearlessly navigates musical traditions in bracing, seductive, and adventurous ways with the self-assuredness of an artist far older than his 24 years. His influences are on his sleeve: the British fingerstyle folk of guitarists Davy Graham and Bert Jansch, American primitive guitar soli à la Takoma Records, the delirious psychedelic folk of Tim Buckley, and the bluesy jazz-folk of Tim Hardin and more. But Walker's sound reaches deeper and wider; it cannot be reined in by them. Set opener "The West Wind" juxtaposes jazz drumming, modal blues, classical viola, and raga-esque drones in an intoxicating meld. "Blessings" pairs viola and guitar in a lilting display of early Celtic folk, Baroque classical music, and jazz with his blues moan on top. Walker's baritone may be limited in range, but it is clear and expressive; the grain in his voice inhabits his lyric with commitment, but not overstatement. "Great River Road" is a driving country blues that recalls Hardin, but its turnarounds are tight and knotty, and the Gypsy swing in the bridge moves it outside that frame. Instrumental "Twin Oaks, Pt. 1" is a riveting guitar breakdown with a throbbing bassline, soaring viola, and post-bop drums. "Clear the Sky" recalls the guitar style of early John Martyn, though the the elegant instrumental arrangements and open vocal recall Tim Buckley's Happy Sad era -- though Walker ultimately slips both restraints and delivers something more mercurial. The guitar soli in "Twin Oaks, Pt. 2" is a gorgeous meditation on minor-key patterns, while "Fonda," another instrumental, contrasts ragtime and Appalachian-style guitar with neo-classical piano in a haunted round. "On the Rise" is an uptempo modal blues that features Brian Sulpizio's neo-psych electric guitar duetting with Walker's fluid fingerstyle acoustic. Closer "Tanglewood Spaces" is a gorgeous round that reflects both Graham and Jansch, but draws from the rural American South in its melody. All Kinds of You may not contain new sounds -- they weren't new for his influences, either. But Walker's harmonic sensibility is vast. With his idiosyncratic compositional method and stunning -- yet emotionally resonant -- playing technique, he is able to dissect, distill, recombine, and, just like his predecessors, reshape the music that inspires him in his own image. ~ Thom Jurek
$1.29

Pop - Released April 6, 2018 | Dead Oceans

$1.29

Pop - Released March 1, 2018 | Dead Oceans

$1.29

Pop - Released May 10, 2018 | Dead Oceans

$1.79
$1.19

Pop - Released October 23, 2018 | Dead Oceans

Hi-Res
$1.95
$1.29

Pop - Released September 25, 2018 | Dead Oceans

Hi-Res
$1.19

Pop - Released July 8, 2016 | Dead Oceans

$1.19

Pop - Released June 1, 2016 | Dead Oceans

$1.19

Pop - Released February 25, 2015 | Dead Oceans