To say that I am consistently surprised and constantly in love with the output from Tyler Lyle would be an understatement.
There’s a couple things here: This fucking guy is young. By all accounts, it’s unlikely dudes his age are ever this talented. The kind of knowing so prevalent in Lyle’s songs usually comes with age and experience but there are things in the subtlety of every song and every album he releases that defy his years.
I do not and usually am not moved by a song of begets: My dad was born in ’58. His dad was born in ’29. His dad was born in 1895. But here I am, singing that line over and over with love and a feeling that it is my own story (though it is not — mine goes ’56, ’17’, 1883).
I do not and usually am not moved enough to leave the first song on an album on repeat with a total disregard what good might lie beyond it. After a full night of Saturday listening and a lazy Sunday morning of learning the words, only then was I able to move on from “Medusa”. And unsurprisingly, every new song is as good as the one I just fell in love with and had dubbed to good to beat.
In short, this guy. THIS FUCKING GUY. He is making music that every time sits me down in front of speakers and invades my soul so hard that I must tap out the rhythm on my chest to keep my heart still.
I make it a habit to not regurgitate here what an artist or PR label says about their own songs or records but in this instance, I cannot sum up the gist of Expatriates any better than Lyle himself does: This is for the last few dark cold days of winter when the books are heavier, the thoughts are stranger, and the light is more foreign.
[Just an odd side note: At 4:07, listen. A loaded gun and a pocket mirror. Lyle’s lyrical phrasing of the word “mirror” gets me every time. Anybody else would have sang that word higher and I never would have noticed it. This is the nuance I’m talking about. It doesn’t seem like much, it’s just a single word, but it is a single word in a fucking brilliant song that for some reason catches my attention. It’s just perfect. It’s fucking perfect, the way he uses it. I’m rambling. Shit.]