Today, Kentucky singer-songwriter Tyler Childers returned triumphantly with the announcement of his upcoming album, Rustin’ In The Rain – scheduled to release on Sept. 8. Alongside the album news, he released the project’s lead single, “In Your Love,” complete with a captivating music video.
The music video for “In Your Love” beautifully portrays an Appalachian LGBTQ+ love story centered around two miners. In the face of discrimination, the protagonists break free from the clutches of the mining company to work for themselves and each other. Despite their struggles against bigotry, they endure pain and loss, but their love persists, breaking all boundaries that seek to divide humanity.
Musically, Childers returns to his roots of crafting genuine love songs, and “In Your Love” shines as brightly as his beloved track, “Lady May.” The song features cascading vocal melodies soaring above a backdrop of simple piano and mandolin as Childers tenderly croons, “We were never made to run forever / We were just made to go long enough / To find what we were chasing after / I believe I found it here in your love.”
Notably, Childers delved deeper into “In Your Love,” its music video, and the upcoming album, in an expansive NPR interview alongside his friend and Kentucky poet laureate, Silas House. During the conversation, Childers reflected on the current state of country music, expressing his concerns about how the genre may have lost touch with its roots and the hardships of rural life.
“Merle Haggard grew up dirt poor, working his tail off. And you can grow up like that, and work your way out of it and understand the weight of where you’re at now. And you’re never going to forget how hungry people are,” Childers said. “I think a lot of times now, if you look at the songwriters in country, where do they live? Nashville is an extremely necessary town; everybody’s got to meet somewhere, and this is a heck of a meeting place. But there’s this hard disconnect. The writers didn’t necessarily grow up in a rural setting, but the nostalgia for that way of life resonates with them in some way. So they’re working within these stereotypes of this nostalgia that they might not even have any reference point to understand.”
Notably, Childers’ past albums, Long Violent History and Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven? tackled heavy subjects: racial inequality and religious intolerance, respectively, and the new album is sure to fearlessly face reality like its predecessors.
Intriguingly, Childers shared that Rustin’ In The Rain takes inspiration from the love songs of Elvis Presley and his experiences working with mules during the COVID-19 lockdown. The album features a rich tapestry of love songs with allusions to horse-drawn equipment and pieces of harnessing rooted in his family’s history of farming.
“My mom loved me to death, and my dad worked his tail off. I didn’t want for nothing,” he continued to share. “But it came at a price. Time away from family — they worked very hard to take care of us. They instilled in me to work and understand the weight of that. I grew up in that community. And then I lived in that community.”
Although Childers has been reticent in past interviews, he opens up candidly in the NPR feature. When asked about the possibility of alienating certain segments of his audience with his progressive ideology, he reflects on the reception of Long Violent History and how it led to real, albeit difficult, conversations with fans.
He acknowledges that there were some negative reactions, but he also received messages from people expressing gratitude for initiating challenging discussions with their loved ones. Childers continued to share that believes that the power of his music and videos lies in their ability to prompt sincere reflections about love, loss, and acceptance, transcending the limitations of clichés and knee-jerk reactions.
Pre-orders for the album are available now, promising another incredible chapter in the journey of this remarkable singer-songwriter.
Pre-order Rustin’ In The Rain here.
Read Relix‘s cover story with Childers here.
Listen to Childers’ “In Your Love” below.