The Paper Hats

The Paper Hats

The Paper Hats is the solo project of the young and exceptional musician and guitarist William Tyler from Nashville, Tennessee. He is on tour through Europe in April and May to present his debut record for the Munich-based label apparent extent. ''Deseret Canyon'' is an instrumental album, a minimal psychedelic finger picking folk record, in the vein of guitar heroes like John Fahey or the early Jim O'Rourke.

After high school William started playing and touring with Lambchop. Since then, he has built up a reputation of being one of the promising talented musicians for the Off-Nashville scene, especially around Mark Nevers Beech House Studio and its eclectic line ups. Tyler has played on records with Candi Staton, Simone White, Bonnie Prince Billie, Silver Jews, and many others.

Regarding the album, Tyler has clarified: ''Deseret'' refers to an ill fated and briefly utilized alphabet invented in the mid nineteenth century by elders of the Mormon Church. ''Deseret'' to read as a political statement, an attempt at rendering symbolic the Mormon disillusionment with American society. At the same time, it was a system with its own internal and poetic logic - an idea not at all lost on Tyler, who expands upon the alphabet significantly. The titles of Deseret's songs suggest an engagement with a similarly hermetic (and possibly utopian) series of ideas, ranging from Algerian port towns, the films of Robert Flaherty, 12th century Persian poets, American psychic Edgar Cayce, and London’s 1851 Crystal Palace, to name a few.These titles travel – much like Tyler's hypnotic guitar style – over wide ranging ideas, and are realized through ensemble-like pieces and forms, borne out by Tyler's able fingerpicking style, swelling Hawaiian slack key guitar, banjo, and bowed bass.

Also see this interview with William Tyler interview on

Image for The Paper Hats
go to top of page