William Tyler is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, a town where guitarists are as common as television sets or pigeons. At an early age, he began playing and recording with artists that resided at the fringes of the country and folk vernacular, such as the Silver Jews, Lambchop, and Cortney Tidwell. He also found himself doing session work with artists as diverse as country legend Charlie Louvin and soul singer Candi Staton. All the while, Tyler was at home working on fragmentary guitar pieces and tape collages under the moniker the Paper Hats, calling on the spirit of Sandy Bull and the early Siltbreeze catalog. In 2008, his longtime friend and sometime collaborator Volker Zander released a Paper Hats lp “Deseret Canyon” on his Apparent Extent imprint, and the two toured in Europe.
Now Tyler has released his first album under his own name, “Behold the Spirit” (Tompkins Square), a collection of acoustic and electric guitar works intertwined with open form audio landscapes and delicately arranged instrumentation. Equal parts Appalachian drone and ambient noise, “Behold the Spirit” is a series of homages to ancient melodies, dead languages, and ghosts. Live, Tyler has collaborated or shared bills with Eric Carbonara, David Daniell, Wooden Wand, Paul Metzger, Datashock, Mountains, and Steve Gunn, among others.