While William Tyler’s most recent album of pastoral instrumentals for electric guitar could feel occasionally airless and muzak-like on record, on stage his project comes alive with considerable zeal. Accompanied here by bass and drums, the trio lets Tyler’s knotty compositions expand into swells of warm feedback, elegant cadences and, on set closer Area Code 601, impressively vehement thrash.
Tyler grew up in southern Mississippi, now Trump heartland but, at the time of Tyler writing Modern Country, a place of rundown, homespun beauty and, consequently, quiet inspiration. “I was romanticising it but I should’ve been terrified of it,” admits Tyler at one point tonight between songs. However, America’s recent upheaval only serves to reframe Tyler’s elegiac pieces even more poignantly; amid all the rawness, here are 90 minutes of soothing Southern balm.