New Artist: Tyler Childers


Photo Credit: Perry McLeod

Over the summer this year, I discovered a new artist while I was vacationing in the plains of Burnet, Texas. His name is Tyler Childers and he is a young, talented musician who came onto the country scene in 2017. I hesitate to even call him”country” out of fear of losing many readers, but I’m here to say it’s not what you think. He has what many modern country artists are missing with his eloquent, emotional lyrics. He also comes from the states of Kentucky and West Virginia, adding a clear element of folk to his music.

The first album he released is titled “Purgatory” and has the hit track “Feathered Indians.” That was the first song I’d heard by him and I was immediately struck by his powerful, wailing voice. This particular song’s lyrics are also truly moving in the way they capture the speaker’s affections for a woman; and after all, no one can resist a good love song. Another standout track from this album which really drew me in is “Tattoos.” The song opens up with just Childers’ vocals and the bass, which complement each other perfectly. Then the fiddle comes in, making the song resonate and proving that as a genre, “country” possesses far more variety than most think. The cascading melodies that the fiddle brings to the song are beautiful and, strangely, heartbreaking. The song isn’t much more than a story, but that’s what I love about it. Lastly, I couldn’t fail to the first track of the album “I Swear (To God).” This song is nothing short of whimsical as Childers makes an upbeat tune out of his hardships and mistakes. It has an awesome chorus as well as an inspired guitar solo which fully captures the tone of the struggles that he is singing about.

His most recent album, which was just released in August 2019, is titled “Country Squire” and follows up his killer debut record incredibly. The best track on the album is one that hasn’t seemed to surface yet, but is titled “Gemini.” It’s short and sweet, doesn’t appear to have a chorus, and it seems to be about his wild, rocky life. Many rock and roll and country singers talk about those things, but he brings them to life in a truly tangible way for the listener. When listening to music, you look for someone or something to relate to and Childers’ music accomplishes this well. The next song I love is titled “All Your’n” and it was the first single released from this new album. It’s a completely new sound for Childers; there’s a rhythm guitar that is reminiscnt of the Grateful Dead, and the song is also rather joyous. Considering most of his songs don’t have that tone to them, that’s a big step for the young artist. Lastly, another song that deserves attention is titled “Peace of Mind.” This song is as traditionally “country” as it can get; it’s just a four minute long story told over some great chord changes. He talks about an old married couple who love each other, but left many things behind to get married. In many of his songs, he embraces the human side of things and that is why he’s so easy to relate to. Childers is not larger than life like most artists are in our media-obsessed world, but is fully down-to-earth.

Tyler Childers was the hot topic artist of this past summer for me, but he hasn’t gotten old yet. His songs are comforting for people who need an escape in life, people who have a tough load of homework each night. Maybe his insight on hardships will help you figure out how blessed you are. He’s only 28 and I hope he continues to stay relevant and by the time many will be reading this, he will have performed at Austin City Limits along with artists like Guns n’ Roses and Childish Gambino. He also goes on tour this fall, but sadly not to Dallas! Maybe you might see him, though. Give Tyler Childers a listen and give country a chance; you do live in Texas after all, y’all.