Ryley Walker is approaching the release of his fifth solo album, Course in Fable, which arrives on April 2 via his own Husky Pants Records. He’s joked that it’s his prog album, because he only listens to Genesis, and that shines through the rustic sound of new single “Axis Bent”.
A classic Walker rambler, “Axis Bent” glides on dreamy guitars as the singer unfolds some abstract observations (“heard the cross that you hung on had cable / midweek adverts for joint pain undermine salvation”) and self-reflections about his songwriting and life course (“when I wrote the song would breathe / it was the best I’d ever had jammed up on axis bent was the sidestep of relief”). The second half eschews words and finds him delving into sonic experimentation, adding some electronic textures to his wordless voice and a deviation into atmospheric percussion and guitar noodling. He soon returns the golden thread of melodic guitar that acts as the gentle stream amidst all his more expressive tics, pulling it all together beautifully.