Ryley Walker: ‘Going two days sober was impossible since I was a kid’

Ryley Walker: ‘Going two days sober was impossible since I was a kid’

The Guardian

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He was hailed as the new Nick Drake, but addiction nearly destroyed him. Now he writes songs ‘in a state of joy’ and, after stacking shelves for minimum wage, has released his best work yet

Speaking on a video call from Massachusetts, Ryley Walker is obscured by a blaze of sunlight coming through a large open window as he filters out the air in his apartment. “I must give up smoking,” the singer-songwriter frowns, lighting up his third cigarette.

Given how much Walker has had to give up over the last few years – emerging from the drug and alcohol dependency that shaped his adult life – it’s hard to begrudge him one last remaining vice. Walker, who attempted suicide as a consequence of his addictions, says that being here today is “a miracle”. His career-best new album – the proggy, unexpectedly pretty Course in Fable – is the sound of an artist treating his life as such.

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