Tyler Childers Discusses His Vision for ‘Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?’

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

Tyler Childers released his hotly anticipated album Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? at the end of September. The triple album saw Childers and his band recording two versions of eight songs. Then, Tyler teamed up with Charlie Brown Superstar to create sample-heavy electronic tracks that reflected the spirits of the songs.

To say that this album wasn’t what fans expected from Tyler Childers would be an understatement. Some fell in love with the new sound that Childers and The Food Stamps created. Others weren’t as impressed. However it didn’t matter if fans loved it or hated it, they all had the same question: Why?

Recently, Tyler Childers released a portion of an interview with novelist/music journalist Silas House on YouTube. In the video, Childers discusses his vision for his latest album.

Tyler Childers on Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?

“We should try to explain this new record a little bit for folks,” House prompts, “because it’s complicated, right?” Then, he asked Tyler Childers to talk about the three parts of the album.

“In a lot of ways, it’s processing through life experiences and the different philosophies and religions that I’ve taken in and have formed me and trying to make a comprehensive sonic example of that. And, working with the same song three different ways is kind of a nod to my raisin’,” he explained. Childers went on to say that he was raised in a Freewill Baptist church and grew up learning about the Holy Trinity. “That’s the way these songs are.”

Tyler went on to discuss the different versions of the songs on the album. “You have the root, the core which is just us boys. [It’s] how you’d hear it if you came to a Tyler Childers and the Food Stamps show,” he said, talking about the Hallelujah version of the songs. “I’ve only got so much room in the van band-wise, but what if the van was bigger and we could bring horns and strings and a sitar,” he said of the beefier Jubilee versions of the songs.

Making a Joyful Noise

Then, Tyler Childers got into the Joyful Noise version of the songs. “Looking at it in an abstract way. Like, just toying with the feeling of each song. That’s what the third installment of the album is about.”

When talking about making the remixed songs, Childers said that he had never had the opportunity to do anything like that before. Working alongside West Virginia-based artist Charlie Brown Superstar, Childers was able to delve into a whole new world of music-making. Using electronic beats and sound samples, Childers was able to paint an abstract picture of the emotions at the hearts of his songs. He said that he wanted to make people feel things that are impossible to put into words.