Music Street Journal
Richard Tyler Epperson
Review by G. W. Hill
This is quite a satisfying release. Overall it lands somewhere in the mellow pop rock style of artists like John Mayer. There is quite a bit of range within that boundary, though. It never feels redundant or tired because it gets mixed up enough to remain fresh.
|Track by Track Review|
|I Know |
Some rather odd keyboard sounds start this. It works out from there to a more mainstream modern pop rock sound. This is a killer, energetic rocker that is very accessible. The bridge almost has a modern progressive rock vibe to it.
Acoustic guitar based, the title track is a bouncy little balladic number that combines folk music and alternative pop. It’s another solid one.
|Like Always |
This is an amazing piece of music. In a lot of ways, it qualifies as modern progressive rock as far as I’m concerned. The progression moves here and there and doesn’t feel far removed from Radiohead or Porcupine Tree at times. Still, there are sections (like the intricate opening) that land more in balladic folk rock territory. Other sections are closer to something like John Mayer. It’s all accessible, though. Given the complexity of the piece, that’s pretty impressive.
More of a singer/songwriter ballad, this is a solid tune. Perhaps it’s not as strong as the songs that preceded it, though. It does have a tasty bit of jazz in the mix, though.
|The Life (Fall on Me) |
Acoustic-Playful folk music is the order of the business on this piece. It’s another strong number. Despite the stripped back arrangement, there is still some jazz here.
Sound effects and weird keyboard sounds start things. The piece grows out from there with a real modern progressive rock vibe. The vocals are kind of distant and understated on this song and it’s an intriguing change.
More of an alternative rock meets pop vibe is present here. This is fairly mellow and quite mainstream. Some of the keyboard elements over the top, though, lend a bit of progressive rock to the proceedings.
|Which Way I'll Go |
Mellow and dreamy, the bits of keyboards in the mix again lend proggy elements. Additionally, the whole musical concept isn’t that far removed from something like Porcupine Tree. I’m also reminded of RPWL. Then again, there are more modern pop elements at play, too.
|Where We Are |
Singer songwriter concepts meet folk and pop on this number.
|Wake Up Love |
Mellow acoustic guitar elements drive this piece. It’s very much a folk song, but has more of that modern element at play, too.
|Beautiful Day |
Bouncy and a bit playful, this is very much a folk meets pop music number. It does move out to a bit more rocking sound later, but retains the same acoustic basis. Some keyboards and more layers of vocals fill it out further down the musical road, too.
|Blind My Life |
I love this rocker, It’s got a lot of energy and a cool powered up sound. The vocal arrangement is great, too.
|Around We Go |
With a dream-like, almost jazzy arrangement, while this isn’t Earth-shattering, it’s very effective.
|Within My Thoughts |
Folk, pop and acoustic jazz merge on this number. It’s classy and classic in nature. There are some great guitar melodies in this thing.
UNDER THE GUN REVIEW
Genre: Pop Rock, Alternative
RIYL: Jason Mraz, John Mayer
Richard Tyler Epperson's spring 2014 release, Hourglass. A cross between John Mayer
and Death Cab For Cutie, Epperson's new 14 track release is a brilliant compilation of
songs that exudes a level of confidence and aggressiveness that gives 80% of the indie
music being released these days a swift kick in the pants.
From the moment Hourglass kicks off, Epperson gives us a performance we won't soon
forget. "I Know" is one of the top 5 tracks I've heard since 2014 got started. The track is
very John Mayer-esque in that the music is very soulful, well composed and well
performed. Vocally, Richard stands right next to Mayer and Jason Mraz and he should be
on tour with one (or both) of these guys because it would not only gain Epperson the
quality exposure he needs, but it would be one of the most awesome shows out there.
The brilliance of Hourglass doesn't stop there though. This project gets better as you go
through it, and I liked 10 of the 14 selections contained on the album. I loved the fact that
he released an actual LP instead of the going with the mass of artists who are just
releasing EP's these days.
Overall, Hourglass is a rock-soul masterpiece that deserves the same level of major radio
and tour support as the aforementioned artists. Every bit as talented as Mraz and Mayer,
Richard Tyler Epperson could very well be the next big thing to bubble to the surface of
mainstream rock music. All this guy needs is an investor or label that can provide him with
tour and radio support, and he'll be well on his way to a Grammy nomination. Worth the
money, you should pick this project up once it's available on April 8, 2014.
Socialize with Richard Tyler Epperson online at: http://facebook.com/RTEmusic |
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Richard Tyler Epperson. Remember that name. Even if it slips from your brain, his music will stay. Hourglass (the 2014 release I got to take a chunk out of) is an execution of acoustic and electric compromise. His emotions sprawl anywhere from summer solace to mid-winter meditations.
The press is comparing him to John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, and other cuddly cuties splattered across the indie-pop skyline. Pssh- he has more soul than all three combined! Not only is his sound sweet- it’s deep.
Despite his earthy, humble musk, I can smell radio-ready suds. It’s only a matter of time before legitimacy sneaks past the eye of popularity…right?
Let him tuck ghosts in your temporal lobe.
Rock World Magazine
Richard Tyler Epperson presents an eclectic alternative-pop sound that ranges from the acoustical flutters of a sentimental John Mayer track (“Hourglass”, “Rain“) to ambitious psych-folk efforts in the vein of Kurt Vile (“Like Always”). In addition to Epperson’s eclectic stylistic reach, his new album Hourglass is inspired by deep yet universally discernible thoughts. “Listening back to the songs, I started to realize a lot of them had lines or hidden messages about how fast time goes by and about trying to find happiness in the short time we have,” Epperson explains. “Those thoughts inspired the song Hourglass and the name seemed to be fitting for me at this point in my life. Time goes by so fast and we all get caught up in daily life stresses that take us away from our dreams and the things we care about.”
Clear standout track “Like Always” shows Epperson’s thematic focus well, especially as he comments on the tumultuous aspects of looming deadlines and valuable time. “My life can never seem to stay in sync,” he sings over an array of elegant piano keys, crackling acoustic strums, and – toward the conclusion – a distorted guitar solo. “Like always, I’m too afraid to blink.” The sincerity of his lyrics provides for some engrossing stories throughout Hourglass. What’s also impressive is how Epperson utilizes his multi-instrumental talents throughout the track, handling vocal, guitar, bass, piano, and keyboard duties in addition to Phil Robertson’s drumming. Overall, “Like Always” is a solid effort that shows Epperson’s strengths over a nicely produced palate of alternative-rock schematics with bursts of electronic incorporation.