The first three songs on The Road Dissolved the View, Kyle Wall’s fourth LP as Wharfer, are a study in frustrated claustrophobia. Over a desolate piano, a thrumming organ, then a gentle guitar, he meanders east and west to Dublin, Alabama, and New York. He drawls about animals as omens: hound dogs in the road, a scorpion, a white wolf, a goblin in his bed. He mutters about “violent decay.” But by the time he’s sleep-walked his way to the end of the crushingly lonely “Melt Down,” it’s clear that he’s barely left his living room. “At the moment I drift away, I fly into a violent rage,” he sings in an almost-whispered bass, snarling and shattered. “And I think about falling backwards in time
“I’ve been in Brooklyn for eight years now, and sometimes it’s overwhelming in a negative way, and you can just go for being in Alabama or somewhere else on a whim,” he says over the phone from his apartment in Bed-Stuy. It’s a familiar notion. Most people in most major cities will tell you that they’d like to get out into an open expanse of land, a little nothingness, for a couple of weeks, even if it’s just a short vacation. In the last few months alone, Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett have wandered off into tree-lined paradise, and Sam Ray has sung about moving to the desert.
Some of that fatigue is, inevitably, formed by a need to escape from a world in crisis. Wall wrote the majority of the record—which we’re premiering in full below—around the 2016 election and into the early part of 2017, beaten down by what was then a freshly disastrous news cycle. On the woodwind-inflected “Deep Blue,” he goes between a croak and a whisper, singing about journeying through West Virginia, a dream of meeting an “angel on a Greyhound.” Then he skips forward in his daydream: “We crawled through a lifetime of imminent doom / Now we’re out in the sand and it’s perfect.” It crackles into the late-night country of the title track, where that dream has disappeared completely: “The rapture’s already here.”