EP Review: Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Session by William Tyler (2019) (Merge Records)


The tendency with the best of instrumental acoustic guitar music is to assign it to the ‘beautiful’ category and then sidle off content in the knowledge that your lack of multiple adjectives is justified on a ‘well what else can you SAY about it basis’.

This is where Tylers second Aquarium Drunkard webzine Lagniappe Session manages to raise a sore fingered hand above the generally beautiful crowd, as there is so much more to imbibe from this wonderful piece of laconic finger plucked work.

Initially, there is a slight sense of medieval about the general aesthetic. Perhaps that should not really work in a modern musical landscape, however tracks such as Tyler’s version of Handel‘s Sarabande (see below) and Dvorak‘s New World Symphony, shift the mind to allusions of a moden minstrel sitting in the corner of a 17th century courtyard pleasing whatever fat bloke was bestowed the honour of monarchy. Of course it is just the slightest of whiffs of medieval throughout the tracks, but certainly enough to feed the need for his always brilliant originality.

Similarly the finger plucking nature of his work and the sense of time and distance he conveys with subtles variations in tempo and intensity means that the beautiful is accentuated by constant intrigue as to what his track will develop from and to. This is best scene in track such as the cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s Go Your Own Way (see below) and especially in the extra cloying chime of Yo La Tengo‘s Tears Are In Your Eyes.

Once again, simply stunning interpretations.

Artist Links:   Twitter Facebook

Label Links:  mergerecords.com  Twitter Facebook


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