Tyler Butler
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Tyler Butler

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Tyler Butler: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend"

Thoughtful, mature and intentional: three words that come to mind as Edmonton electro-folk singer-songwriter Tyler Butler talks about his new album, Feral Horse. In the vein of Red House Painters or Bon Iver, Butler blends haunting, engaging lyrics in warm, lo-fi acoustic gems that are hemmed with sparse, ambient textures. A five-star bedroom recording, Feral Horse reflects not only a three-month recovery from a debilitating illness for the young artist, but also his DIY confidences.

"There's so much that went into it that's mine: it's a very do-it-yourself record—I did everything at home on one microphone, and that's really important to me, because every person you bring into the recording process is this extra layer of music-making that's a dilution your own voice."
Although relatively new to Joe Gurba's Old Ugly Recording Co., Butler had previously been writing and recording his own material under the label Labrador City Records. Now with the Old Ugly release of Feral Horse, Butler is enjoying the label community's collaborative strengths and breadth of artistic challenges.

"I can't stress how much the people I work with are influences," he emphasizes with enthusiasm. "After Joe approached me about doing an album, that's when I focused on making a good-sounding record, not just a sudden expression of myself. There are these themes that took a year to collect in a way I liked.

"There were all these stages, like when I was sick, that's where the fever/illness themes come from," he continues. "And there are the horse metaphors, which have always been a literary symbol of beauty that kept coming up over and over again when I'd try to describe something. And, I'd started dating someone, too, and all these themes blend together to describe the last year of my life."

These autobiographical details, fueled by his studies of literature ("So potent and full of metaphor"), allow for gorgeous, if not darker, connections and reflections on day-to-day life. Alongside compact, complex metaphors of historical narratives, illness, relationships, landscape and longing, there's an equally satisfying melodic sensibility at work here—one that marries weighty lyrics ("I fought this opium war with a lack of patience") with a melodic momentum that haunts the listener long after the song is gone. It's a maturity that Butler shows, in crafting intimate songs that blend gut-wrenching lyrics and veiled violence in gorgeous form, that makes them all the more engaging.

"Certainly, the lyric writing is a very intentional part of my songwriting, but there's never just one meaning to my songs, and I've intentionally made it that way. While I do say that it embodies how I've spent the last year, it's also really open to interpretation," he offers. "A lot of my songs are based on conversations and quotes from my life. If there's a darkness to the record, it's more a sense of discontentment and longing for something else, someplace else, that I think people can relate to."

Mike Angus
http://vueweekly.com/article.php?id=14163 - Vue Weekly


Discography

Feral Horse is currently getting radio airplay.

House Painter (Old Ugly, Upcoming)
Waxwing EP (Labrador City, 2010)
All My Friends Make Music (Labrador City, 2010)
Feral Horse (Old Ugly, 2010)
Slow Horns (Lazer Moses, 2009)
Feral Horse Tour EP (Labrador City, 2009)
Elephant Mountain Session (Labrador City, 2009)
Love Dogs EP (Labrador City, 2009)
Americano Creek EP (Labrador City, 2009)
Fields (Labrador City, 2009)
Orcas (Labrador City, 2008)

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Bio

Tyler Butler is a meticulous existentialist with a talent for wavering synth lines and lyrics that quietly speak of his tempestuous relationship with his hometown. Layering of understated guitars and unassuming waves of synthesizer create a subtlety of music that finds an antithesis in the poignant and direct storytelling of his lyrics. Known for quoting conversations and reiterating intimate moments from his life in his songs, Tyler is not afraid to bear his heart in the name of good songwriting.

Biannual Canadian tours keep him stocked with enough prairie landscapes and time for introverted self-musings to satiate us with a steady output of EPs. Tyler’s latest self-recoded and produced endeavour was the first folk-music release associated with Joe (The Joe) Gurba’s Old Ugly Recording Co.