Young, Palace, Beach Boys, and Beefheart have died, decomposed, and
deposited themselves in the banks of the future river. You’re digging
there for gold and find instead The silt: Ryan Driver (nylon-string
guitar, drums, analog synth), Marcus Quin (simultaneous bass and drums,
lap steel), Doug Tielli (elec. guitar, bass, trombone, melodica).
They’re cooing, growling, fumbling, and being generally angelic.
Ways to Wander – The silt’s second release on
Toronto’s unusual record label Rat-drifting – contains songs whose
detailed roots melodies, three-part harmonies, rich instrumentations,
and sweet surreal words tickle the eardrum, inspire the imagination,
and break the heart. Driver, Quin, and Tielli command their instruments
and voices with a fluency rare to pop music, yet abandon virtuosity at
will in favour of the lovely crackle of experimentation.
describes: “All sorts of junk amidst a beautiful
song…there's room for animals to run around in there.”
simply, The silt is one of the few groups to
successfully introduce to pop the spirit of experimentalism (in The
Reveries, Tielli and Driver played a show with Charlemagne Palestine
and won high praise from Walter Zimmermann). These guys have the
impulse to make strange sounds, yet remain utterly in love with
despite the fact that every song contains
different instruments and different approaches to both music making and
recording, Earlier Ways to Wander is not scattered or
pretentious, but rather…just marvelous; from the psychedelic
soulfulness and pitch-bent ecstasy of “One Day” to the blissful melodic
perversion of “Happy Wheat,” this record is too heavy to hold, even
with both hands.