AMN Reviews: William Ryan Fritch – Leave Me Like You Found Me (Lost Tribe Sound)

a1482751079_2A contemporary horse opera combined with reconstructed rock, played and arranged with timeless emotional depth and with the heft of great, big American prose (anywhere from Melville to Jonathan Franzen), Leave Me Like You Found Me is a fanfare for the common man, or perhaps common relationship, by a very uncommon man. William Ryan Fritch, playing everything, seems to be using instruments he found hidden away in a barn since the end of the Civil War (electric guitar included). The score to Adele Romanski´s eponymous feature film about failed relationship playing out in the great outdoors, he has composed, arranged and performed a blockbuster that takes on an utterly independent life off the silver screen.

“A Still Turning Point in this World” is a sleepy, abandoned miner´s town knuckling under to a thunderhead of yearning pipes, crashing drums and soaring guitar. This opens up a muscular, wide-screen epic of John Fordian proportions, Fritch introducing the storyline with his yearning, wordless vocals on “Sun on Cold Skin,” shifting his focus as he pans over wide-open spaces on “With the Winds Against Us,” a thankless trek, counting time like footsteps in the sand. A ramshackle piano having all the sweetness left in it urged out on “Coursing Through Veins” is enswirled by a reprise of the same set-up as the opening track.

“Half-Awake in Slow Motion” is dreamtime as a raggedy waltz, the dancers turning “Weightless” for the record´s gentlest moment, his electric guitar soliloquizing until the violin offers a brief rejoinder before the guitar just takes flight, and you´ll never catch it once it reaches beyond the clouds of “Empty Upon Impact”. But Fritch doesn´t leave you utterly aghast, he gathers you in and closes with a warm, safe inside the cabin title track.

Beautifully packaged with artwork by João Ruas on quality stock paper, complemented with a download code for twenty-eight minutes of extended enjoyment on a companion mini-album, Leave Me Like You Found Me is in fact the centrepiece in a series of eleven albums worth of work dubbed the “Leave Me Sessions” by Lost Tribe Sound.

Stephen Fruitman