Huffington Post

We all know how easily an hour can escape us. And for this reason, it can be daunting when those hours turn into days, months and years. Life goes by like greased lightning; while we live, love, and dream. Any reminder of the speedy life we live can make us want to have another look at the purpose for taking up space on this planet, or for occupying our minds with thoughts, or for wanting love or for even dreaming. But it is bound to happen, those hours, months and years will go on; our hope is to have a successful narrative in sync with the measure. But even if we don't, and the storyline is filled with waste, the fleeting nature of time is so relatable that someone somewhere will sing about it. And this is exactly what Richard Tyler Epperson has done with his latest album Hourglass.

 

Ironically, the effort is four minutes and thirty-two seconds shy of one hour.Hourglass contains fourteen tracks and is filled with conventional lyrics juxtaposed to acoustic/electronic pop rock. Although others have used the lyrics, the compositional arrangements are interesting enough to give the message a face lift. And let's face it; there was once a great Greek philosopher who said "no man ever steps in the same river twice." Who was that? Oh yes -- Heraclitus -- that's who said it. If Epperson's words seem familiar, it's because they are recognizable to all of us in a very particular way. The songs uniquely resonate because the inquiries are universal: What have I done with my life? And how have I loved?

The river that Epperson is stepping into with his music speaks about places he (and we) has/have visited. The place where the fake smile no longer works even though one knows that life plays the same game over and again. The place where one realizes that life is more than the flickering of a light bulb. The place where one acknowledges that dreams and love need to be held on to before the hourglass runs dry.

The album starts off with a non pretentious song "I Know" that introduces the listener to the mellow voice of Epperson and the simple structured guitar and drums complementing his vocals. It then moves on to "Hourglass" a very pleasant piece that veers into more acoustics while Epperson conveys the central theme of the album. At this point one might think, rightly so, the effort will continue on this melodious path, and it does for many of the songs, but also explores range and electronic mixtures enhanced with string and percussion variations. So one might be surprised when all of a sudden the album is thrown off course midway with "Lights" where Epperson offers a slight departure by adding to the mix some experimentation with voice and instruments. Albeit, "Lights" is the only piece that removes the effort from the even tempo thread running through this endeavor. Toward the end of the album, Epperson picks up the tempo a bit with "Blind My Life" and ends on a tender note once again with "Within My Thoughts".

Hourglass may very well sound familiar to you. And that's okay because it may be the same river: but we all are stepping in it--in very different ways.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcel-hidalgo/eppersons-hourglass_b_5017686.html
You can stream and download Richard Tyler Epperson's Hourglass on BandCamp.

Music Street Journal

 

Richard Tyler Epperson

Hourglass

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.
Hourglass
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.
Rain
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.
Lights
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.
Waste
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.

http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/index_cdreviews_display.cfm?id=104386

UNDER THE GUN REVIEW

Artist: Richard Tyler Epperson
Album: Hourglass
Genre: Pop Rock, Alternative
RIYL: Jason Mraz, John Mayer

 

Richard Tyler Epperson’s Hourglass has a fitting title for so many reasons. Coming in just shy of an hour of music,Hourglass contains 14 tracks of honest and heartfelt acoutic-based pop rock that lyrically explores life, love, and all the wonders in between. It particularly touches on what precious little time we have here on Earth and how quickly life moves by and waits for no one — something we can no doubt all relate to. Along with catchy melodies, impressive instrumental layers, and memorable choruses, the familiarity helps make Hourglass an easily accessible listen for any fans willing to explore the more radio-friendly and often cutesy areas of pop rock.

In too many cases, simple, straight-forward lyricism can be a turn off for me, especially when it comes to pop music. At this point, it seems that you’ve heard pretty much any line about love that can be written and those lines are being recycled on a daily basis from slews of musicians the world over. However, if those lyrics that you feel you’ve heard countless times in the past are paired with compositions that accentuate the simplicity in a way that somehow manages to feel fresh or comforting, it can be a major relief. Epperson’s lyrics are familiar, yes, but the way that they manage to compliment his music and vice versa works wonders throughout Hourglass. “Days go by, and time, oh how it flies. And the memories keep flashing through my mind.” I’ve heard it all before but the way it meshes with the beauty in the acoustic guitar just feels right. One of the best things about the lyrics being uncomplicated is how that notion matches the vibe of the music. These tracks feel intimate, like songs that you would sing at a party as it was finally winding down. Songs that all your closest friends know the words to. These are songs that you play when you’re in your bedroom, alone, reflecting on life and past loves. Epperson’s coming to terms with the fact that he’s getting older and at some point, every person questions where they’re at in life. They question whether or not they’re on the path they wish to be and if they’ve lived life as fully as they should with the people they love and care about. All of these ideas are in the forefront of Epperson’s creations and it takes next to no effort for the listener to connect as we’ve all been in the same position.

With 14 tracks on a single album, you would hope there would be some variety present andHourglass does not disappoint on that front. While there is certainly a lot of more mellow and sometimes melancholic simple-structured acoustic cuts, tracks like “Lights” and “Blind My Life” find Epperson exploring slightly varied versions of the other offerings on Hourglass. “Lights” is shrouded in electronic glitches, dramatic strings, and prominent percussion as Epperson’s distorted vocals dance out of balance. “Blind My Life” is a more upbeat track carried by piano and electric guitar that serves as a nice change of pace.

Hourglass at times can definitely feel as long as it is due to some of the more dreary tones throughout, but it’s cohesive and never gets boring necessarily. Nothing feels wasted or overdone which adds to its feel of completeness and cements the assumption that Epperson was completely in control of what he wanted this album to be. This is likely why he chose to include 14 tracks as opposed to releasing a more condensed effort. A lyric here or there can teeter on the edge of being hokey but the heart is always present. Nearly every song on this album could find a place at radio and I see no reason why Epperson won’t break more into the spotlight as Hourglass finds its audience and word of mouth does what it does best.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by: Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter
http://www.underthegunreview.net/2014/03/17/review-richard-tyler-epperson-hourglass/

iaemagazine.com

Bold, brash, unapologetically creative; these are just a few of the words that describe 
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 | 
https://twitter.com/RTEpperson
http://www.iaemagazine.com/music/2014/04/richard-tyler-epperson-hourglass.html

BiggerThanBeyonce.com

RICHARD TYLER EPPERSON

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

 

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.
http://www.biggerthanbeyonce.com/2014/03/richard-tyler-epperson/

Rock World Magazine

Loving Every Minute of ‘Hourglass’
 

I can’t stop listening to the Hourglass by Richard Tyler Epperson. Soaring, gorgeous, thoughtful, addictive…the record comes just in time for a break from cynicism, worry and doubt.

We should make sure we’re living. This is one of the messages of Hourglass. As Epperson took in the album as a whole, he saw that he had inadvertently harkened to the same message.

Richard Tyler Epperson

Richard Tyler Epperson

“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. 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. The more I grow up and the older I get, the more potent that thought gets. If you stop to think about it, the hourglass is always running and it’s important to make sure you’re living life the way you want to be living it.” Epperson says.

In a time where uncertainly has had a good run, this album is sorely needed. No posturing. No fussy or silly packaging of a bill of goods no one wants to buy. Just a positive vibe. Some music to heal to.

People are weary of the carefully, crafted images of pop stars and sensitive rappers. There’s nothing wrong with a little hope, wrapped up in superbly done music.

Light melodies, hopeful horizons with “potent” lyrics, Epperson reaches out and gently pushes the mind into the sun. Hourglass feels futuristically folksy, like a score of a film you want to watch, one possibly starring the best version of yourself.

“Lights” stands out as a must listen. “The Life (Fall on Me)” is terrific. There isn’t a weak track on the album. Each story spills into the next, leaving your enlivened, stripped of sadness and pondering the real things you need to get back to.

http://www.rockworldmagazine.com/loving-every-minute-of-hourglass/

Obscure Sound

Richard Tyler Epperson – “Like Always”

Richard Tyler EppersonRichard 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.

http://www.obscuresound.com/2014/02/richard-tyler-epperson-like-always/