Tyler James Lewis

Street: 12.13.14
Tyler James Lewis = Bright Eyes + Westward the Tide + Isaac Russell

Presentism is a collection of simple, joyful acoustic tunes as wholesome as green Jell-O on Pioneer Day (that’s not a bad thing). Songs take a wide view of the American soundscape, brushing genres as diverse as blues (“Pyrite”), country (an elegant cover of Johnny Cash’s “Sanctified”) and folk, all of which come to life when channeled through Lewis’ careful work as a multi-instrumental strings-man. Standouts are “Dream’s End,” a plinky, ukulele-driven number that surfs along Jack Johnson’s beach and “Fierce Love,” which has a bright, cross-picked acoustic line and sleepy slide banjos that add a little twang. This is a great album from an up-and-comer, but a touch more depth of sound and vocal polish would move Lewis to the next level. His vocal chops don’t quite stir my emotions the way his cheerful guitar work does, and I’d love to hear a full band backing him. –CJ Morgan