FORTHCOMING ALBUM – ‘CITY ON FIRE’ – OUT AUTUMN
NEW SINGLE ‘CITY ON FIRE’ STREAMING NOW
A musician and actor, Tyler Hilton has accomplished a lot in his career so far. As a teenager, he released two Top 40 singles. He starred alongside Taylor Swift in her video for “Teardrops on my Guitar.” He played the role of one of his musical idols, Elvis Presley, in the Oscar winning Johnny Cash biopic ‘Walk the Line,‘ and co-starred with Robert Downey Jr. in the indie movie ‘Charlie Bartlett.’ He may be most known for his musical role on the show ‘One Tree Hill,’ which earned him a devoted fan base around the world.
His new album ‘City On Fire,’ out this Autumn, comes from a much more personal place for the California native, who grew up in a family of musicians and songwriters that he spent his childhood performing and jamming alongside of. Steeped in country, blues, folk and rock traditions, the album captures this loose, organic musical style that runs in Hilton’s blood.
Hilton remembers trying to explain it to producers in Nashville as a young songwriter, “I’d play them my favorite records; Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Townes Van Zandt, Weezer’s ‘Pinkerton’…” he says. “I’d just get blank stares like, ‘So…are you rock, pop, blues, country…?’ And the answer was always, “Yes, all that.”
Not the easy answer most were looking for, but Hilton explains, “There’s a common denominator in all that music to me; maybe it’s the sound of adventure, or rebellion, or real people… whatever it is, that’s what my feelings sound like. That’s what the music that comes out of me sounds like.”
Hilton recorded the album both in California with bandmate and childhood family friend, Jaco Caraco, as well as in Tennessee with his former roommate and another longtime collaborator, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum. Hilton and Caraco had started recording what was supposed to be a side project of music for Film/TV while Hilton was on hiatus from filming a pilot for CMT and Caraco was on break from touring in Miley Cyrus’ band. It was during this time that Kelly, having just wrapped up a world tour with Lady A and about to start a new record with the band, called Hilton about producing a side project as well. “I knew this was rare, to have both my favorite collaborators available at the same time. It just hit me, this is way more than a side project, this could be the best record I’ve ever made!”
Hilton’s collaborative spirit is in his DNA. He’s written with Taylor Swift, Michelle Branch, co-wrote on Joe Cocker’s final studio album and is currently in the studio working on new music with Billy Ray Cyrus.
For Hilton’s new album, the title track and first single, “City On Fire,” was written around the 2016 election, a period where Hilton found himself influenced heavily by traditional folk ballads and western movie scores. “It was strange and comforting music to be taking in amidst so much change. And everything seemed to be changing. There were so many people to feel for at once. And then a good friend of mine from High School passed away and all of us came together: I sang some songs, we cried, but mostly we were just left numb and blinking. A lot happened really fast. That’s when ‘City On Fire’ came out of me really quickly. It was like a dream I should have had, but instead the images came out as a song, a fully formed murder ballad. It was eerie. But it painted the picture just right for me, it felt like the city was on fire and a lot was being lost very quickly.”
The accompanying music video was directed by his wife, Megan Park. Most known as an actor in such projects as Secret Life Of The American Teenager, recently she’s made waves as an award winning director and writer, whose previous music videos include Gucci Mane, Billie Eilish, Blackbear, and Elohim. The video was produced by the acclaimed Prettybird, best known for Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and has a powerful narrative touching on female empowerment and strength.
Ahead of this, Tyler will showcase new music on his forthcoming summer UK concert dates with fellow American singer-songwriter and actress Kate Voegele. On the new album, Tyler teams up with Kate on two songs which they wrote together – Overtime and When The Night Moves.
‘City On Fire’ will be released this fall on Hilton’s label Hooptie Tune Records.
UK Tour with Kate Voegele
June 28 Kings Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
June 29 Gorillla, Manchester
June 30 O2 Academy, Birmingham
July 1 The Globe, Cardiff
July 4 Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
July 5 Scala, London