Tyler Ramsey The Valley Wind

Holy hell does Tyler Ramsey ever sound like Neil Young, at least when he hits his upper vocal register. The Band of Horses guitarist has chops, as you'd assume a musician of his status would. He has such similarly sweet and plaintive pipes that Mr. Young himself might be fooled, especially on the album's melodious title track. There's more than just a vocal similarity though ― Ramsey's a surprisingly good songwriter, able to turn straightforward folk songs into something more with simple, easy-going riffs and production that evokes nostalgia without ever bordering on weepy or overwrought. Highlight "Angel Band" provides an apt summation of The Valley Wind; it's warm and cinematic without trying too hard, the kind of song that, even playing gently in the background, might catch your ear. Those who find Band of Horses inching ever closer to annoyingly epic country rock might find something more charming in The Valley Wind, and given Ramsey's success here, why shouldn't they? (Fat Possum)