A Long Dream about Swimming across the Sea
Echo Mountain Records
By Al Kaufman
Talk about your apt titles. Tyler Ramsey’s A Long Dream about Swimming across the Sea sounds just like what one thinks it should sound. It’s moody and atmospheric, ethereal and melancholy, pretty and delicate. Ramsey’s beautiful guitar strums and finger picks recall the fragile melodies of Nick Drake. His intricate finger picks draw instant comparisons to Leo Kottke. His yearning vocals run the gamut from Neil Young’s gentle whines to Ryan Adams introspective angst. The entire CD has a feel of staring at a giant aquarium on a rainy day. It is captivating, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking, but, ultimately, it could use a shark or two to keep things interesting. Unlike his band, Band of Horses, which offers a more sonic, orchestral sound, Ramsey’s first solo offering sets a gorgeous backdrop without giving a centerpiece. There are lots of interesting little things going on, both musically and lyrically, but it is missing the one big thing that makes the listener want to keep coming back for more.