TYLER CHILDERS IN HIS HEAD-TURNING VIDEO FOR "IN YOUR LOVE."
The 1950s love story in Tyler’s new video might even make your hateful uncle Horace teary eyed.
Since Tyler Childers burst onto the country music scene in 2011, he’s become the poster boy for new music that has an old sound. And every now and then, this Kentucky Crooner will dip a toe in the culture wars. During the COVID-19 quarantine, for instance, he taught himself to play the fiddle — as one does — and then released his fourth album “Long Violent History” with eight instrumental fiddle tracks and a closing lyrical track that framed the Black Lives Matter movement from the point of view of a Southern white man.
In all my born days as a white boy from Hickman
Based on the way that the world's been to mе
It's called me belligerent, it's took me for ignorant
But it ain't never once made me scared just to be
Could you imagine just constantly worryin'
Kickin' and fightin', beggin' to breathe
How many boys could they hall off this mountain
Shoot full of holes, cuffed and layin’ in the streets
Til we come into town in a stark ravin’ anger
Looking for answers and armed to the teeth
Those are some strong words, but rather than light up Twitter with them like so many of his contemporaries, Tyler does something more subtle, something downright old-fashioned, classy even — he lets his art speak for itself.
It could be that he doesn’t care to argue, or maybe he knows he can catch more flies with honey. Whatever the case, this thirty-two-year-old mountain man has mastered speaking quietly to make a big point.
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With his latest tune — the pre-release for an album dropping in September — Tyler turns his attention to LGBTQ life, again doing so through his art. A piano ballad with synth elements, “In Your Love” is an 80s-inspired love song that stands in contrast to his previous, vintage-tinged work. But Tyler’s rugged voice and gritty, Appalachian analogies keep it authentic, and his video is wowing old fans and making him lots of new ones.
Like a beautiful diorama of Appalachian, queer life in the 1950s, this four minute, forty-four second clip depicts the arc of a relationship between two men, from meeting in a coal mine to…well, I’m not going spoil it for you.
Given the entertainment industry’s infatuation with token gay characters and Pride Month having more sponsors than NASCAR, some might see this as a headline grab. And it has done that, capturing articles in everything from Rolling Stone to USA Today. But when you watch the actual video, you can’t help but be struck by the power of this love story, by the importance of two friends loving one other. That’s at the heart of any good relationship, any true love — gay, straight, poly, porcupine, or porpoise.
That said, Tyler knows his bounds and was smart enough to not tackle this video alone. He turned to Kentucky poet laureate and author Silas House, who brought his husband Jason Kyle Howard to the table. All three men are east Kentuckians, and together, they crafted an authentic visual story only Appalachians could write and that everyone — literally millions of people — seem to love.
I sure hope you do too.