William Tyler’s 2013 album, Impossible Truth, was one of the first things I ever wrote about at Stereogum, so I’m always going to have a special place for him in this not-so-sentimental heart of mine. Tyler’s music inspires a sense of longing for a simpler lifestyle, and if I listen to it on certain days, it makes New York seem like a hellhole. Merge Records will reissue Tyler’s 2008 record, Deseret Canyon (which he originally released under the name Paper Hats), and to accompany the release, his sister Elise created a video for the song “The Sleeping Prophet.” Tyler told NPR the following about the video:
When William asked me to direct a video for him, I knew that I wanted to make a video only I, his sister, could make. For me, that meant an intimate look into his world. Every location and scene is true to his day-to-day life in Nashville. An important aspect for me was driving — on tour or off, he loves to drive. He has driven alone across the country multiple times on tour. At home, he often relaxes with a cruise around town. We shot the entire video in one day, with my crew including Dustin Lane as director of photography. It was a rewarding experience and speaks very true to my brother and the beautiful simplicity of his life off the road.
In the video, Tyler wakes up, cooks breakfast, works out with a personal trainer, gets a manicure (he has super long nails so that he’s able to do this fucking masterful fingerpicking), and drives around town. Nashville’s suburbs are on full-display throughout, with an abundance of sad strip malls and $1.25 liters of Coke for sale at gas stations for only 99 cents (!!!), but there’s a comfort in this local loneliness though that would remind anyone of home. The opening shot is very American Beauty; you’ll see why. Watch below.