Tyler Boone - A New Start
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 26 2011
Looking at lists of potential albums to get sent to my mailbox, and then actually narrowing the choices down to a couple of selections is such an anxiety stricken process for me sometimes. I've gotten it down to a typical undertaking, though; I look for any pop-punk gems, hoping to find an unsigned diamond-in-the-rough band looking for a break. I’ll sprinkle in a little hardcore in my picks just because I like to try to stay connected to that scene, too. And then there’s the almost obligatory polar opposite pop number that I find myself yearning to hear just for variety’s sake. "Obligatory" might seem a little harsh, actually. I usually come to like these picks better than the stuff I actually take the time to research (Ian Axel).
Tyler Boone’s A New Start was the easy pick for me in the latter category this time around, as it was tagged as "Southern/Blues/Acoustic." I’m always down for a little southern flavor, but after listening to Boone’s four-track EP, it’s refreshing to see that simple genre tags mashed together often fail to truly capture the subtleties and complexities of an artist’s sound.
A New Start kicks off with “Austin,” and we are led in by a haunting slide guitar and aggressive acoustic strumming. By the one-minute mark, listeners are treated to similarly melancholy fiddle playing and a little more grooving. Boone’s smooth, somewhat rustic, vocal style matches the instrumental pace well. “Austin” succeeds as a complete, well thought-out and layered piece of music, complete with aural tension and fiery guitar solo to lead into the second track, “All My Life.”
Boone’s melodic styling is clear by the second track; subtle in its infectiousness, taking time to fully sink in. While the first spin or two might bore listeners with the sometimes somber feel, Boone backs off and lets the instrumentation keep the tracks fresh and interesting.
“Dawn On The Coast of Carolina” is the winner of the four songs on A New Start. Boone kicks up the catchiness just a bit here while still sticking to his folksy tendencies. It’s a nice blend and will make listeners remember the song in the summer months when the weather is nice.
Closer “That’s When You Call Me” slows things down to a soulful tempo, and it’s a shame that Boone waits until the last track to really let his voice take the spotlight. An organ whines behind a bluesy guitar during the song's midsection, and we’re treated to a lazy saxophone playing the song out to Boone’s carefree line, “call, call, call, that’s when you call me.”
I’d be quite interested to see what Boone is able to achieve on a proper full-length album. In just four well-crafted songs, he packs in as many instruments as most eight or nine-track discs, all combining to build a very pleasing and never stale sound. If this is truly a new start for Tyler Boone, I’ll be anxiously waiting to hear where he takes his career in the future.