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Earlier Ways To Wander

by The silt

Happy Wheat 03:06
Flutter Down 05:08
Swallow 06:21
Manitoba 03:41


Neil Young, Palace, Beach Boys, and Beefheart have died, decomposed, and deposited themselves in the banks of the future river. You’re digging there for gold and find instead The silt: Ryan Driver (nylon-string guitar, drums, analog synth), Marcus Quin (simultaneous bass and drums, lap steel), Doug Tielli (elec. guitar, bass, trombone, melodica). They’re cooing, growling, fumbling, and being generally angelic.

Earlier Ways to Wander – The silt’s second release on Toronto’s unusual record label Rat-drifting – contains songs whose detailed roots melodies, three-part harmonies, rich instrumentations, and sweet surreal words tickle the eardrum, inspire the imagination, and break the heart. Driver, Quin, and Tielli command their instruments and voices with a fluency rare to pop music, yet abandon virtuosity at will in favour of the lovely crackle of experimentation.

Tielli describes: “All sorts of junk amidst a beautiful song…there's room for animals to run around in there.”

Put simply, The silt is one of the few groups to successfully introduce to pop the spirit of experimentalism (in The Reveries, Tielli and Driver played a show with Charlemagne Palestine and won high praise from Walter Zimmermann). These guys have the impulse to make strange sounds, yet remain utterly in love with beautiful songwriting.

Likewise, despite the fact that every song contains different instruments and different approaches to both music making and recording, Earlier Ways to Wander is not scattered or pretentious, but rather…just marvelous; from the psychedelic soulfulness and pitch-bent ecstasy of “One Day” to the blissful melodic perversion of “Happy Wheat,” this record is too heavy to hold, even with both hands.


released July 16, 2021

The silt are :
Ryan Driver — vocals, classical guitar, synth, drums
Marcus Quin — vocals, bass, drums, guitar, lap steel
Doug Tielli — vocals, guitar, bass, trombone, melodica

Aimée Dawn Robinson co-wrote the lyrics to "Happy Wheat" and sang a bit in "Waltzing Around"
Eric Chenaux wrote "Sloppy Ground" and played guitar in "Out Like a Light"

Mastered by Harris Newman

Designed by Lewis Nicholson

Thank you: Michelle McAdorey, Michael Stone, and Aimée Dawn Robinson

© & ℗ 2004 Driver / Quinn / Tielli SOCAN except Sloppy Ground © & ℗ 2004 Eric Chenaux SOCAN


all rights reserved



Rat-drifting Toronto, Ontario

Rat-drifting music searches for specificity, celebrates detail. It experiments with radical particularity and wonders about the possibilities and potentials of those experiments. If the music drifts, it does so in the hopes that the listener drifts with it—her/his imagination experimenting with the possibilities of the music as well, as they find their own route through their own experience. ... more

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