Tyler Edwards – Too Young For Love
Tyler Edwards is a man of many styles and shades across the six tracks of the Too Young For Love EP. The singer/songwriter format can be a limiting arena, but Edwards makes the most out of varying song structures and unique dynamic shifts, giving each tune its own different take on the genre. Some songs remain in one mode or frame of mind throughout while others veer in numerous areas of rise and fall with poignant vocal parts and elegant guitar-work yielding scenic aural plateaus and audio vistas.
“Headed for the Coast” sets the tone, panning the river for rich sediment that sifts through fine, 1940s country guitar licks, wayfaring violins and vocals that are a far cry from the radio country rapping heard today. The music is natural, organic and teeming with an aura of bygone days. This is the true definition of Americana, and the folky strum goes way back to Dylan, Guthrie and Williams for inspiration, while modernizing things just enough to give it a widespread appeal.
The next track, “Calling Me” heads into town for a raucous, rowdy saloon party with wailing harmonicas, violins and nimble acoustic guitar really diving into a punch drunk, outlaw anthem that jukes and jives its way to its finale. This is easily the most scorching number of the six song set and shows that Edwards can throw his chips on the table with the greatest gamblers of all-time. “Down” augments Edwards’ groove with a sundown slow-burn with minimalist melodies and hearty vocals with a flair for deep, dramatic croons. That shoot from the hip, lowdown creep lifts slightly on “Common Ground” with its more brightly lit guitar lines and soaring vocal melodies, but it still comes from a bluesier side of the tracks than the first two opening guitar jams. “Sail On” is reminiscent of the opener with its howling violin melodies and trotting acoustics, again feeling akin to the soundtrack of westward expansion, the construction of the first railroad and the great Gold Rush. The title track is more of the same yet it has a sparser melodic quotient with guitar lines building to great heights for a lofty, elevated chorus and then dropping out of sight for spare instrumentation where vocal harmonies and crafty melodies take hold and keep things nailed airtight shut.
A little more variety could benefit Tyler Edwards on future outings because a modicum of the tunes on this record come off as quite similar to one another, although a high quality of composition is maintained at all times. Edwards is at his best when the material is full on wild n’ wooly (“Calling Me”) or delivering oblique, prairie riding blues (“Headed for the Coast,” “Down,” and “Sail On”). Not only does he have fantastic abilities as a player but his songwriting is of a consistently excellent standard that enthuses, soothes and heals all in the same breath. It is without a doubt he will only continue to grow as he puts out more releases but Too Young For Love is a great debut no matter what grading scale it’s judged upon
7 out of 10 stars.