Deafman Glance

Ryley Walker - Deafman Glance
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2018 Ratings: #384 / 841
User Score
Based on 56 ratings
2018 Ratings: #372
May 18, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
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Loud and Quiet
With ‘Deafman Glance’, Walker’s days as a troubadour have been brilliantly dumped.

Deafman Glance could easily have been a mess. Its seemingly deliberate m.o. not to enforce an agenda has resulted in a quizzical and beguiling collection of tunes that, played in virtually any sequence, results in an album of unassuming but nearly constant intrigue and delight.

God Is in the TV

Some folk are born to experiment, and Ryley Walker, thankfully, has the nous to do so gracefully; it’s not always perfect on Deafman Glance, but when it works, it really does make an impact, and further cements the guitarist as one of the most creative composers of our generation.

Walker seems to have set himself one of the hardest tasks any artist can ask themselves: what would happen if we let down all our defences and made the art that really resides inside? You can tell that he’s still searching on Deafman Glance, but even its occasional missed steps feel instructive, somehow, as though Walker’s getting closer to the core of the matter, breaking through into new personal terrain.
No Ripcord

The guitar prodigy almost makes it sound easy on Deafman Glance, an inward-looking document with a slightly surrealistic lens where he immerses himself within a roots-inspired framework over a sophisticated jazz mantle.


This adventurous spirit makes Deafman Glance a coherent mood piece and a confident expansion on 2016’s Golden Sings That Have Been Sung.

The Line of Best Fit

Deafman Glance is a great record, and it proves – if nothing else – that sometimes a change is as good as a rest.

Under The Radar

Deafman Glance feels like attempting to recall a half-remembered dream while in the throws of a gentle hangover, making it one for lazy days and Sundays. Consequently, the spoils of these incorporeal meditations are misty and transitory, and while they may not dazzle, they do have a tranquil charm and unique character.

Tiny Mix Tapes

With Deafman Glance ... he’s found the most organic balance of his various interests yet, leading his band of longtime collaborators through an electric, jazzy suite of songs that feels both intricate and effortless.

Spectrum Culture

By no means difficult, this is music for musicians more than a general listenership. Which is fine as Walker is clearly very talented and capable of exploring different creative avenues.

This is an album of departure and if Walker hasn't yet settled on a destination, he at least signals a promise of newness and singularity on whatever horizon he eventually chooses as his landing place.

It’s a strange sort of record which doesn’t exactly grab you from the off, but has quality enough to keep you coming back, and at least suggests that Ryley Walker’s next move will be intriguing.

Ryley Walker is one of the most interesting guitar-centric song writers in recent time. Living and thriving in the weirdly specific overlaps that exist between Daniel Bachman and Dave Matthews and Joni Mitchell, Deafman Glance is the best thing in the RW discography with a promise that that won't stand for long.
An impressive folk album with quiet but present jazz influences. Ryley's voice is by far the highlight of the record.

Favorite track: Accommodations
Jazzy as fuck
Move over Joni Mitchell
Worth a listen
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Added on: March 5, 2018