With his recent output, Tyler Braden has been exploring the rockier side of his dynamic country sound. With the release of his latest EP, the Alabama native has turn the amp up once more, revelling in the poignant, meaty subject matter of his songwriting.
Breaking into the drop-D inflection of his recent EP's title track, 'Neon Grave' bristles and burns under the gritty tenaciousness of Braden's vocal. With a brazen desire to be laid to rest in the bar where the angels have whiskey on their wings, it's an thundering dedication to the place where tallboys are in fine supply and the bottom of the bottle is never found.
For a song that could deafen a stadium when played with his full band, 'Neon Grave' surprisingly thrives in the stripped-back setting of the Holler Live Session. It's all down to Braden's delivery - sharp, intense and unembellished in his near growl.
With such power and fervour to his delivery, it's positively captivating when Braden delivers a song of such tenderness and sentiment as 'Friends'. The longing pours out of him, as he yearns for the one he loves to see they can't ignore what they feel for each other.
What's particularly charming about the song is Braden's lyricism - sharing ingrained memories of expressing love through present and understated moments; "as if i've never seen you crawl across my bed / like I Love You is something we ain't ever said".
"This was my very first song to go to country radio in the States" Braden explains as he introduces his final song. "I hear they are playing it a lot on the radio here in the UK too, I'm super excited about this one".
That song is 'Try Losing One', perhaps Braden's most emotionally-weighted and certainly his biggest hit to date. It's a heart-wrenching performance, Braden building to exasperation as he warns you of the pain and isolation of losing the one you love.
"Try staring at the wall, pouring whiskey out / Try living with knowing that you let her down" Braden sings, the unfaltering severity of his delivery both striking and thought-provoking.
As with his contemporaries Nate Smith and Kameron Marlowe, Tyler Braden delivers heartbreak and emotional tribulation with such resolve that you can't help be carried and stirred by the weight of his words.
Performing his songs 'Neon Grave', 'Friends' and 'Try Losing One' this is Tyer Braden for the Holler Live Sessions.
Director: Dan Monro
Cameras: Dan Monro, Tom Francome, Nick Richards and Joe Monk
Audio Engineer: Nathaniel Kastoryano
Editor: Dan Monro (Lookout Productions)
Producers: Ross Jones, Gemma Donahoe & Ciara Bains