Sounds Like: Mainstream country hits-to-be, written and sung by the same Millennial who penned Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach”
For Fans of: Chris Young, Thomas Rhett, the poppy side of the country-pop divide
Why You Should Pay Attention: Raised in the slow-moving railroad town of Thayer, Missouri, Tyler was discovered at 13 years old by Michael Knox, Jason Aldean’s producer. What began as a long-distance mentorship turned into a proper partnership five years later, when Knox signed his protégé to a publishing deal with Peermusic. Tyler’s been a busy man since then, co-writing tunes for Bentley, Aldean, LoCash and Kelsea Ballerini. With this spring’s 317, he steps out of the writing room and into the spotlight, making his solo debut with 11 songs rooted in the modern trends of country radio. Knox produced the project, beefing up Tyler’s sound with hard-rock guitars, vocoders and other mainstream moves.
He Says: “My first concert was Poison and Cinderella. I’ve always loved Eighties rock, and it’s had a big influence on what I do, because Knox likes those big drums and big guitars. I grew up listening to John Mayer too, and you can hear that influence on ‘They Can’t See.’ I didn’t want all the songs to sound like they came from the same record. I wanted them to be different, because that’s what I’m going after in the writers’ room. I write a different song every time.”
Hear for Yourself: A close cousin of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man,” “They Can’t See” is a laid-back, lovesick salute to a woman whose real beauty lies far beneath the skin. R.C.