Not much better news than a surprise EP this week from Ryley Walker. Following one of the year’s best albums from 2021, Ryley kept pace with the most prolific voices of the year, offering up excellent collabs with David Grubbs, Kikagaku Moyo, Andrew Scott Young & Ryan Jewell, and J.R. Bohannon & Ben Greenberg. The So Certain EP returns to some of the feelings of Course in Fable, finding Walker burning catharsis like cord wood. The four songs here are a bit rawer than the album, through, finding Walker in a tighter formation with a seasoned trio of friends behind him. With Bill MacKay trading guitar barbs and Quin Kirchner holding down the rhythm alongside Andrew Scott Young, who holds over from the album’s sessions it slips from some of the Chicago post-rock radiation into something darker. The EP boasts plenty of highlights but the closer “Pharaoh’s Plastic” is as biting an acerbic as I’ve heard Walker in some time. The new EP is out now digitally with CDs to follow and LPs later in the summer. This one just rose fairly high on the 2022 necessities list.
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