Indie folk guitarist William Tyler has announced a new digital-only EP called New Vanitas. Due out this Friday, September 4th, the release arrives exclusively for the latest edition of Bandcamp Friday. The monthly event that sees the platform waive its fees during the first Friday of each month was recently extended through the rest of the year.
Stretching for 39-minutes, New Vanitas features “ghostly and otherworldy self-recordings” from sessions Tyler undertook around Nashville this year. Included on the effort is the single “Time Indefinite”, originally shared back in March. As for the EP’s title, it’s taken from a medieval still life style meant to highlight humanity’s ultimate mortality.
Speaking in a press statement, Tyler explained how he found a connection between a 16th century art form and America in 2020:
“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.”
Following the Bandcamp release at the end of this week, New Vanitas will be available across digital platforms. Check out the cover art and trackless ahead.
Tyler’s New Vanitas follows his recent score for the Kelly Reichardt film First Cow, as well as 2019’s Goes West full-length.
New Vanitas EP Artwork:
New Vanitas EP Tracklist:
01. With News About Heaven
02. Time Indefinite
03. Big Sky Waltz
04. Four Corners
05. Slow Night’s Static
06. She Swims in Hidden Water
07. Pisces Backroads