Tyson Ray Borsboom – WILL – Review

Tyson Ray BorsboomCanadian artist Tyson Ray Borsboom has released his first full-length offering. The Lethbridge, Alberta-born singer/songwriter first hit the scene in 2018 with his debut EP Sinner. Since then, Borsboom has kept himself busy with a multitude of collaborations, and yet somehow he also found the time to record a full-length work. Featuring 10 beautiful and emotional tracks, Will is an excellent debut record from a young and talented musician.

Tyson Ray Borsboom – WILL

The album begins with “Coastline”, a dreamy tune about travel and love. The track starts out as vocals & guitar only, with the reverb-ed out electric guitar especially providing the spacey feel. At first the vocals are stacked in Folk/Americana harmonies, which melt into a single voice once the drums kick in and the arrangement fills out. The drums provide a classic pop beat, while the lyrics discuss loving someone from a distance while being on the road, with Borsboom naming San Diego & San Francisco specifically.

The next song on the record, “Can’t Go Home”, opens with a more upbeat feel, the drums allowing the music the breathe a sense of optimism, even if the lyrics ultimately explore different territory. The strumming of the acoustic guitar here helps the percussive elements of the music, adding to the bounce of the drum set. As the song reaches the chorus, Borsboom sings “Cuz I can’t go home without your love”, an indication of the emerging themes of travel & loving someone from a distance. It is easy to see how these themes would be central to the life experience of a touring musician. Delicate & pretty slide guitar comes in after two verse/chorus cycles. The solo provides a nice break from the vocals, with the verse & chorus returning after the first guitar solo, and the song ending in a guitar-augmented outro.

Further on in the record is “Tell Me”, a slow & deliberate jaunt through the album’s continued lyrical themes. At times the vocals seem reminiscent of mid-90’s alternative, but the music here is all Folk/Americana. The pain the protagonist feels is evident in the chorus lyrics, “Tell me what’s on your mind / if we don’t cry, no one’s getting out alive.” Electric guitar also provides a perfect complement to the lyrical pleas as the song reaches its resolution.

Next is “Fall”, another contemplative start, very reminiscent of the aforementioned mid-90s sound. Lyrical themes persist here, with Borsboom singing “Take my hand / let me see / what it takes / to really breathe.” As the guitar strums and vocals build in emotion, violins join the vocals, intertwined in one emotional journey. The listener gets the feeling that they are literally seeing inside of Borsboom’s soul as he cries “Let Me Fall” with cascading emotion.

“Now I Know”, the album’s closer, has a stark intro with only vocals & guitar as the emotion gradually builds. Drums enter on a sort of stutter beat in the background, a nice augmenting of the sound, and also provide cymbal flourishes to help grow dynamic of the music. Eventually a steady beat in the drums establishes a foundation for the guitar and vocals to float over. Piano & bass join arrangement while Borsboom repeats the song title and the music crescendos into a Coldplay-esque climax, a perfect release for the emotion that has been building up both in the song and on the album.

Will is an emotional offering from an up-and-coming artist. We are happy to see Borsboom growing his craft and we encourage readers to check it out!

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