Since the release of his sophomore album, ‘Suffer In Peace’, back in 2015, Tyler Farr has been relatively quiet in terms of new music. There have been a slow trickle of standalone releases, with ‘Our Town’, ‘I Should Go To Church Sometime’ and ‘Love By The Moon’, but we haven’t had a proper project for a long time. Until now, that is! Tyler is back with his new EP, ‘Only Truck In Town’, produced by heavy-hitter Jason Aldean. Yes, it’s only four songs, but it’s a sign that the wheels are beginning to move again for Tyler, who is becoming in great need of a career revitalization, certainly at country radio anyway.
Tyler has clearly been on the lookout for potential hits, as there are four hits-in-waiting here. The choice of externally-written songs is something we don’t see too often, but it’s a wise and calculated decision here as the quality, for the most part, is top drawer. You’ll see familiar names like Ben Hayslip, Jon Nite and Jonathan Singleton on the writing credits, which is always a recipe for success. Sometimes, an artist can connect with a song as if it were their own, and that seems to be the case here, with Tyler explaining:
“These songs really speak to who I am. My good buddy, Jason Aldean, produced the EP and knows me better than most people so working with him just felt right. Together we created something very real and that’s exactly what I want my fans to hear from me.”
It feels very much like a back-to-basics sort of project, using the tried and tested formula of ‘best song wins’, and it’s exactly what was needed at this stage for Tyler. The Jason Aldean production adds a stadium-ready feel on ‘Only Truck In Town’ and ‘Heaven On Dirt’, whilst the more mellow ‘Soundtrack To A Small Town Sundown’ and ‘I Wish Dogs Could Live Together’ suit Tyler’s gravelly, passionate vocal delivery to a tee.
‘Soundtrack To A Small Town Sundown’ is the EP’s major highlight, and should be a future country radio single without a shadow of a doubt. It’s right up there with ‘Redneck Crazy’ and ‘A Guy Walks Into A Bar’ in the top end of Tyler’s catalogue, and just has that warm, instantly-loveable feeling of a huge radio hit. It’s a song for anyone who’s loved and lost, and keeps being reminded of the past by that one song that holds so many memories. Incredible work from Jonathan Singleton and Jon Nite lyrically, and a huge song all-round.
‘Only Truck In Town’, the EP’s lead single to country radio, is the biggest indicator of Jason Aldean’s involvement, for anyone who wasn’t already aware. It would fit seamlessly onto any of Jason’s recent projects and ticks all of the Aldean boxes – a soaring electric guitar-driven intro, R&B-vibes, and a country-rock infusion of a chorus that explodes into life.
‘I Wish Dogs Could Live Forever’ is pure country; full of pedal steel and a good old sob story! It’s cleverly done though, and not what you expect from the title. A tale of a lost love, and a dog who remained a constant ally through the trials and tribulations, it’s a lovely moment on the EP that showcases Tyler’s softer side to perfection. A close second favourite on the EP after ‘Sundown’, and one that will no doubt be popular with the fans.
The EP’s closing track, ‘Heaven On Dirt’, cranks up the volume again and paints the picture of a familiar dirt road love scene, which admittedly has been covered many times before. Having said that, in true Aldean-esque style, there’s an infectious nature to it and it’s the type of song that will thrive in a live environment.
Overall, a really good quality release from Tyler Farr, who we’d love to see competing in the higher echelons of the country ladder again soon. Let’s hope the collaboration of Broken Bow and Night Train Records can propel this EP to where it deserves to be.