William Tyler Announces New EP New Vanitas

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William Tyler Announces New EP <i>New Vanitas</i>

Guitarist William Tyler has announced an EP, New Vanitas, which will be released on Bandcamp on Sept. 4. It will be available on other digital services on Sept. 11.

Tyler said of the new EP:

The concept of “vanitas” in medieval art refers to the juxtaposition of macabre symbols of death with material ephemera in order to illustrate the impermanence of earthly things. What struck me about this was not the representation of death in a macabre/morbid way, but rather that very sense of ephemerality and impermanence. Reading an article about the history of ephemera in art led me to the concept of vanitas, and I wanted to find a way to pivot that in a more, well, hopeful direction. But these paintings force us to bear witness to the contrasts of life, death, and impermanence, and if 2020 has taught me about anything, it is this concept of “bearing witness” both on a personal and political level.

Earlier this year, Tyler worked with Kelly Reichardt on the score for her film First Cow. Tyler’s song “Arrival” from the movie’s soundtrack was included in our list of this year’s best folk songs.

Stream Tyler’s 2013 Daytrotter session below.