Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung

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The preceding years have been extraordinary for Ryley Walker. His second album, Primrose Green, emerged to critical hosannas from the likes of NPR, Village Voice, Uncut, and Mojo - in the process, earning admiration of musicians who had chalked up no shortage of turntable miles in Walker's life. Robert Plant declared himself a fan - as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley would later embark on a British tour. A sprawling tour of the USA around Primrose Green presented a perfect chance to workshop ideas for what would eventually become his third studio album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung.

On the album, 
The Roundabout represents a symbolic return to Chicago, while other songs are directly wedded to Ryley's actual return there. Perhaps more than any other song on the record, the somnambulant sun-dappled intimacies of opening track The Halfwit In Me most audibly bear the imprint of Ryley's improvisational sessions with Wilco multi-instrumentalist, Chicagoan and producer Leroy Bach, while Funny Thing She Said is an unflinching study of separation set to a shimmeringly supple ensemble performance. Soft, slo-mo explosions of melody intermittently burst through the distant thunder of the verses on A Choir Apart. Intriguing, surreal images are meted out by I Will Ask You Twice, like a malfunctioning slide projector; and, perhaps best of all, the stunning finale, Age Old Tale, which spiders out from an Alice Coltrane-inspired reverie into a sustained rapture that very few artists have managed to achieve.
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