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“Guitars on top of a mountain…in the middle of the ocean”
Tyler Ramsey might have felt like a lucky guy when Band of Horses recruited the North Carolina-native to play in their band, but The Valley Wind proves it should be the other way around.
While Band of Horses has hit its stride on mainstream radio and has released albums that make us say, “Yep, that’s Band of Horses, alright,” Tyler Ramsey is doing something vastly more interesting as a solo artist; his endeavor proves to be much more deserving of our time. Band of Horses bassist and producer Bill Reynolds (Avett Brothers, Lissie) really does a number with this album, providing an acoustic feel to a record that isn’t necessarily just filed with acoustic instruments. The electric guitar melodies dance with the acoustic rhythms on songs like “The Nightbird” in a way that’s entirely complementary of one another.
Ramsey’s vocals will remind one more of Robin Pecknold, but to ignore the obvious Neil Young influence in the room would be dim. That being said, there is no forgery going on here: Ramsey is earnest with his songwriting and the reverb in the mix never gets gratuitous. Ben Bridwell should be counting his lucky stars he’s got Ramsey in his mix. (Fat Possum Records)