Water Liars Explore Moving On in Poetic Fashion on ‘Wyoming’

Photo: Daniel Drinkard

“Loneliness is just a path we walk,” goes one especially revelatory lyric in “Fake Heat.” It’s one of 11 soulful, rootsy tracks on Wyoming, the second album by Water Valley, Mississippi’s Water Liars. “To me, that line means that loneliness belongs to everyone,” explains vocalist-guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster, who, at noon, is drinking coffee and eating a homemade cookie after a late night. “It’s easy to let loneliness be an excuse for things, but it belongs to everyone. While it’s a crushing thing, it’s very ordinary. It’s not special to anyone.”

That’s the sort of explanation you would expect after listening to the entirety of Wyoming, a carefully shaded album that seems to dwell in complicated feelings and glimpses of euphoria. It’s earnest, honest and poetic, and, like Kinkel-Schuster’s context for loneliness, everyone can relate to it. “I think Robert Frost had an essay where he said, ‘If there’s no tears in the writer, there’s no tears in the reader,’” Kinkel-Schuster says. “And I definitely remember a few tears about some of this shit. I hope that that comes through.”

As it turns out, he wrote most of its songs while experiencing the sort of everyday depressions we all feel; most of the songs in the wee hours of spring nights as he complicated Big Picture problems at his then-home in St. Louis. “I was ready to move on, and I think that’s what comes through in the record,” he says. “I think we live in a time where there’s not enough mystery in the world. The less I say about it, the better.”

Water Liars’ Wyoming comes out March 5 via Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records. Stream it below: 

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