Ryley Walker – “Diggin’ A Ditch” (Dave Matthews Band Cover)

One of the best parts about following Ryley Walker on Twitter is his ongoing, alternately earnest and deadpan unpacking of a lifetime’s worth of music fandom. Whether passionately stumping for Genesis or surreally flashing back to scenes from his Christian rock childhood, Walker comes across as a guy whose love for music is not constrained by anyone else’s idea of good taste. So of course he’s releasing a full-length cover of a lost Dave Matthews Band album.

We spoke to Walker upon the announcement of The Lillywhite Sessions, out next month, at which point he shared lead single “Busted Stuff.” Whereas he gave that song a treatment similar to the jazzy post-rock stylings of his recent Deafman Glance album, second single “Diggin’ A Ditch” presents a largely unexplored side of Walker. It’s a bleary, distortion-drenched guitar onslaught that may be the first noise-pop Dave Matthews cover on record, Walker’s Beck-meets-Nick Drake vocals carried away on a wave of fervent lo-fi noise.

So yes, The Lillywhite Sessions will be unique among DMB-related projects, but it may turn out to be unique among Walker’s output too. Though maybe there’s a whole batch of this kind of thing hidden in his trove of side projects on Bandcamp? For instance, you gotta hear the latest from Crazy Bread, his improvisational duo with Max Allison. But first, hear “Diggin’ A Ditch” below.

The Lillywhite Sessions is out 11/16 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order it here.