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Ryley Walker is a 24-year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Chicago. Having kicked around Chicago’s experimental free and noise music scene for several years, Ryley recently turned to a folk-rock sound inspired by some of his heroes, among them Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley and Bert Jansch.
The result is All Kinds of You, a poised and accomplished debut album, recorded in Chicago by Cooper Crain (guitarist/keyboardist in Cave). The album was released by Tompkins Square (James Blackshaw, Hiss Golden Messenger, Michael Chapman, William Tyler) in April 2014.
Ryley’s second long-player was released on Dead Oceans (Bowerbird, Califone, Phosphorescent) this March. Primrose Green begins near where All Kinds of You leaves off but quickly pushes far afield. The title sounds pastoral and quaint, but the titular green has dark hallucinogenic qualities, as does much of the LP.
‘With the charming swagger of jazz-folk troubadour Tim Buckley and the resonant, full picking style of Bert Jansch, The West Wind comes from Walker’s first widely available release, a three-song 12”. With acoustic guitar in hand and a voice like browned butter, Walker swings and sways in a lush string-and-piano arrangement right out of Buckley’s Starsailor; it slowly picks up to a swirling gallop without bucking the rhythm’ – NPR Music
‘Because he plays guitar so damn well, it’s tempting to lump Ryley Walker in with the growing number of pickers and strummers like William Tyler and Steve Gunn. That comparison isn’t too far off either, especially if you want to use a phrase like “post-American Primitive.” But Walker counts himself a Chicagoan, so it’s equally apt to align him with local post-rock outfits like Tortoise and the Sea & Cake‘ – Pitchfork