Wes Tirey is a student of philosophy. I know this because I'm Facebook friends with him and he often posts philosophy related updates. So when I listen to his excellent new album 'Home Recordings' (which is available digitally or on cassette via Orange Milk Records), I have a hard time not making a link to philosophy.
There is just something very philosophical about a 'guitar only' album (i.e. no vocals and pretty much only guitar). This is especially true when that 'guitar only' album has songs titled ‘enter blinded oedipus’ and ‘Heraclitus Descended’. With no lyrics to dissect or words to influence your train of thought, the brain is left to scratch its own head. Which is what this album has had me doing. I'm not saying that this album has got me working on the meaning of life, or anything else near that heady, but putting it on definitely gets me thinking. I mean, if there is a musical equivalent to penning a deep philosophical thesis, it must be a 5+ minute solo jam on a guitar (and there are 6 tracks on this album that extend past 5 minutes, some even doubling it).
Probably the main idea that this album has had me circling —besides the reoccurring thought of “I really should learn how to play the guitar better”— is whether or not I would have even made this philosophy connection if I didn't go into the album already knowing that Wes was into philosophy. The things you know affect how you experience things, and you can't just un-know something to see how you'd experience it differently. So I guess I'll never really know, y'know?
Anyway, I'm sure I'll be revisiting this album plenty throughout the year, so I'll see if repeated listens bring out some different thoughts (for example, there surely must be some deep analysis of the cover art needed). As Heraclitus once said “no man ever steps in the same river twice”, and I'm sure that also applies to listening to albums (although Heraclitus conveniently never talked about the perils of experiencing recorded music).