With his rolling guitar arpeggios and clear, strident voice, Tyler Ramsey recalls Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek and, perhaps more directly, Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot’s biggest hits were the stuff of AM Gold legend though, and Ramsey – a recent addition to Band of Horses, for whom he’s been opening for with this material – is a little more left of the dial.
A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea is a simple record at heart, carried mainly by a voice and picked guitar, although its complimentary arrangements keep things fresh in the headphones. “Night Time” features dreamy doubled-tracked vocals that leave the song in slumberland until a sudden explosion of drums and guitars. “No One Goes Out Anymore” – a song about getting drunk and falling in love at a show – is a woozy waltz worthy of Can-folk patron saint Neil Young. For the most part, the songs plod along with unhurried patience; if (aquatic) travel is the album’s theme, Ramsey spends plenty of time stopping to smell the sea-roses. They’re sweet indeed, particularly when they come as a tender version of “These Days” that borrows more from its writer (Jackson Browne) than its most famous performer (Nico).
Tyler Ramsey – “These Days”: mp3
Tyler Ramsey – “Night Time”: mp3
(A Long Dream… is out now on Echo Mountain)
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