Ryley Walker announces new album

Photo by Tom Sheehan
Photo by Tom Sheehan

Ryley Walker is pleased to announce his new album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, coming out August 19th on Dead Oceans. It’s the triumphant follow up to his breakout album, Primrose Green, which earned critical hosannas from the likes of NPR, Village Voice, Uncut, and Mojo and admiration of musicians who had chalked up no shortage of turntable miles in Walker’s life. Robert Plant declared himself a fan – as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley embarked on a British tour.

In November 2015, at the end of a ten-month period which saw Ryley play over 200 shows in support of Primrose Green, Ryley decided that he should probably head home. However you wished to measure it, he was surely due some sort of holiday. Although, a holiday was the last thing on Ryley’s mind – and certainly not a holiday in his adopted hometown.

He went into the studio over the Christmas vacation to record Golden Sings That Have Been Sung whose songs were directly wedded to Ryley’s return to Chicago. Some of his formative musical memories had been shaped by the work of pioneering Chicago acts such as Gastr del Sol and Tortoise. “Jeff Parker was the guitarist with Tortoise, and I used to listen to him a lot,” recalls Ryley, who figured that, for the first time in his career, it might be helpful to enlist the services of a producer. With only one person on his shortlist, once again, all roads led back to Chicago.

Ryley had been a long-time admirer of sometime Wilco multi-instrumentalist LeRoy Bach. Back in 2009, still in his teens, he had frequented the improv nights hosted by Bach at a restaurant/gallery space called Whistler. “For me, it was an incredible opportunity,” recalls Ryley, “…because you would sometimes also have Dan Bitney, the drummer with Tortoise, and I’d get to play with these people. I mean, they were twice my age. I’m sure they thought I was annoying at first, maybe some of them still do, but I kind of looked at them like gurus – and to have these old school Chicago heads taking me in was just amazing.”

For Ryley then, the prospect of having Bach produce his album was something of a no-brainer. “It was everything I wanted it to be,” he enthuses. “I would go to LeRoy’s house every other day with a riff, and we would take it from there.” Perhaps more than any other song on the record, the somnambulant sun-dappled intimacies of opening track and lead single “The Halfwit In Me” most audibly bear the imprint of those Whistler sessions.

Golden Sings That Have Been Sung was made for the dewy magic hour when night and day have yet to meet and, as long as the song is playing, you feel might briefly leave the corporeal world with them. This is the music you might imagine the woodland animals making once the humans have left for the night. This is Ryley Walker’s coming of age.

Ryley will play two record release shows in support of Golden Sings That Have Been Sung at Rough Trade East in London on August 19th and at Empty Bottle in Chicago on August 25th with full U.S. and European tours to follow. A full list of dates is below with more to be announced soon.


6th US Chicago, IL, Millenium Park ^
8th IT Ravenna, Beaches Brew festival
11th CH St. Gallen, Palace *
12th BE Liege, Reflektor *
14th Lux Luxembourg, Rockhal *
15th UK London, Oval Space *
16th BE Ghent, DOK *
17th FR Paris, Le Petit Bain
19th NL Hilvarenbeek, Best Kept Secret festival
20th DE Leipzig, Werk 2 *
22nd CZ Prague, Lucerna Music Bar *
24th NO Oslo, Piknik i Parken festival

8th CA Winnipeg Folk Festival
9th CA Winnipeg Folk Festival
22nd ES San Sebastian, Heineken Jazzaldia
29th UK Cornwall, Port Eliot festival

2nd UK Hebden Bridge, The Trades Club **
3rd UK Nottingham, Glee Club **
4th UK Norwich, Norwich Arts Centre **
5th UK Hastings, St Mary’s in the Castle **
6th UK London, Caught by the River Thames
8th UK Cardiff, The Globe ^^
9th UK Leamingdon Spa, Zephyr Lounge ^^
10th UK York, The Crescent ^^
12th UK Guildford, St. Mary’s ^^
18th PT Praia do Tabuao, Parades de Coura
19th UK London, Rough Trade East instore
20th UK Brecon Beacons, Green Man festival
25th US Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle

14th US Bloomington, IN, The Bishop
15th US Nashville, TN, The East End
17th US Bristol, VA, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
18th US Bristol, VA, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
21st US Sonoma, CA, Gundlach Bundschu Winery ***
26th US Pittsburgh, PA, Club Cafe
27th US Columbus, OH, Wexner Center @ Ohio State
29th US Madison, WI, The Frequency
30th US Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry

1st US Davenport, IA, Daytrotter
4th US Salt Lake CIty, UT, Kilby Court
5th US Boise, ID, Neurolox
8th US Seattle, WA, Barboza
9th US Portland, OR, Mississippi Studios
11th US Felton, CA, Don Quiotxe Music Hall
12th US San Francisco, CA, The Chapel
14th US San Diego, CA, Soda Bar
15th US Joshua Tree, CA, Desert Daze Festival
17th US Santa Fe, NM, Meow Wolf
24th US Athens, GA, Calendonia Lounge
25th US Asheville, NC, The Mothlight
26th US Washington, DC, DC9
27th US Philadelphia, PA, Boot & Saddle
28th US Hudson, NY, The Half Moon
29th US Northampton, MA, Iron Horse Music Hall
30th US Providence, RI, ColumbusTheatre

1st US Boston, MA, Cafe 939
2nd US New Haven, CT, BAR
3rd US Brooklyn, NY, The Market Hotel
7th NL Amsterdam, Paradiso Noord
8th NL Groningen, Vera
9th FR Paris, Espace B
10th BE Brussels, AB Club
11th BE Bruge, Cactus
12th NL Utrecht, Le Guess Who? festival
13th UK Brighton, The Haunt
14th UK Manchester, Ruby Lounge
15th UK Glasgow, Broadcast
17th UK London, Islington Assembly Hall
20th ES Barcelona, Sidecar
21st ES Valencia, Loco Club
22nd ES Cadiz, Aulario de la Bomba
23rd ES Madrid, Siroco
26th FR Lyon, Le Sonic
29th CH Lausanne, Le Bourg
30th DE Schorndorf, Manufaktur

1st DE Erlangen, E-Werk
2nd DE Berlin, Kantine am Berghain
5th SE Stockholm, Bryggarsalen
6th DK Copenhagen, Pumpehuset
7th DE Hamburg, Nochtspeicher

^ with Blonde Redhead (Ryley and band)
* with Destroyer (Ryley solo)
** with Danny Thompson (duo shows)
^^ Ryley solo show
*** with Iron & Wine

1. The Halfwit In Me
2. A Choir Apart
3. Funny Thing She Said
4. Sullen Mind
5. I Will Ask You Twice
6. The Roundabout
7. The Great And Undecided
8. Age Old Tale