Published: February 18, 2013
By: Alex Silva
The Midwest is a hot bed of musical influences. From Miles Davis to Prince, Axl Rose and J Dilla to more contemporary names like Polica, GRiZ, Atmosphere, and Kaskade. The region is consistently beaming music into the hearts of fans across the globe. With the rise of EDM, countless new names have emerged who share their roots from the bucket of talent that is thriving within its borders. One such name, Ty Beat, has turned industry heads with the recent release of his first, full-length studio album, So Say We All.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tyler Bennett has been crafting his new album for two years, now. Chiseled down from nearly 100 song ideas, he finally released his 12-track masterpiece at the close of 2012. Now nearly two full months into the New Year, word of his talent has begun to spread like wildfire from the crevices of the blogsphere to the social media world and beyond. It wasn’t long before The Untz took note of his efforts, and so, we present to you our take his latest project.
Like a submarine breaking the ocean’s surface, the sounds of Ty Beat rise from the wake of his own creations. It begins with a steady, sample-based progression in the first track, “Echolocation.” Slowly pulsating towards you, the synth begins to take control as it wraps itself around you like ivy to a brick wall. Before you know it, the beauty of electronic and live music together is blossoming before you. Short of actual lyrics, some vocal chops are uttered in around halfway for a hint at Ty’s deeply-nested hip-hop influences for that final eclectic touch.
“A jazz-trained, folk-raised singer-songwriter, this album was my attempt at blending the energy of the live, late-night EDM experience with the all-American, ‘Just-me-and-my-guitar’ type of confessional storytelling.” — Tyler Bennet
As the first track fades to silence, a modest piano solo makes the transition into the next piece, “Autumnal.” The second track breathes a much more personal connection into the album with the introduction of Ty’s spellbound voice, shifting down a few gears to a downtempo, instrumental dream-pop vibe. His singing is slightly reminiscent of the unconventional styles of names like Imogen Heap, Sigur Ros and Bjork, with a dab of auto-tune flair for the desired pitch. The lyrics, written by Ty himself, echo the story of a tattered love that fails to pass the test of time. Live drums fill the background for most of the track, alongside subtle piano notes, alleviating the emotional stress leaking from the lyrics.
Skip a few songs to number ten, “Uncaged,” the album’s most defined hip-hop track which features Matt Black and Caralie Raymond on vocals. Their voices clash between urban edge and soulful rhythm & blues as Ty serenades the remaining air with his skills on the acoustic guitar and brass instruments. Blissful, yet powerful in its delivery.
So Say We All is available for free download on Young Heavy Souls. Ty Beat will be performing with Conspirator and Break Science on Saturday February 23 at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Stay tuned for more from Ty Beat throughout the year, including some new studio projects with Nunca Duerma and an upcoming live hip-hop performance opening for Naughty By Nature in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this April alongside MC Friendly and Matt Black.