“Morning light used to mean something beautiful, now it seems cruel”, reads the opening lyric to ‘Heroes’, the second single from Tyler Edwards’ upcoming release, A Falling Sky. The rumination – brief and succinct, almost detached in its delivery – serves as an effective stage setter for its parent album, despite its status as neither the introductory track or single.
That distinction goes to ‘Highway Dust’, a number with a bit more pep to its tempo, but that is otherwise not all that dissimilar. In truth, the same could be said about most any track found among the twelve which comprise A Falling Sky – that they aren’t all that dissimilar from their sibling cuts.
That isn’t a knock on the record, however, nor should it be perceived as a criticism of the production or artistry. What Edwards establishes with A Falling Sky is an aesthetic, a framework within which to express a series of ideas which are tied together through an atmospheric motif of sorts.
One might call this particular aesthetic Alternative Americana. The heavy, emotive atmosphere pairs almost surprisingly well with the understated, minimalist instrumentation and songwriting which one might argue more definitively reflects the concise probity of a Merle Haggard than the cinematic rallying of a Bruce Springsteen.
The sound could perhaps be likened to what one might expect if Kings Of Leon’s Caleb Followill – a monumentally underrated connoisseur of modern songcraft, the widespread popularity of his band notwithstanding – took the notion to strike out on his own and cut a solo record.
Indeed, the stutter-step shuffle of the drums on ‘Heroes’ seem to mirror the aesthetic of Kings of Leon’s ‘Pyro’, the second single from their 2010 release Come Around Sundown. The weary despondence of the tune rings familiar as well and carries through tracks such as ‘Nobody Dares’ and ‘Long Line’.
Delicate, melodic vocal touches on tunes such as ‘Sugar Hill’, ‘Only After,’ and ‘Wishing Well’ bring the proceedings closer to traditional Americana leanings and bring to mind some of the starker output from Charleston, South Carolina indie act Susto.
Attentive technical touches from Edwards and producer Jim Stephens tie the affair together as an effective, singular piece. After a six year creative hiatus, A Falling Sky could reasonably be heralded as a triumphant return for the singer/songwriter.
Artist’s website: https://tyleredwardsmusic.com/