Tyler Childers Discusses the Inspiration Behind His Album ‘Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven’

by Clayton Edwards

Tyler Childers made some serious waves earlier this month when he announced his new album Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven. Tongues really started wagging after people had time to listen to the lead single and look over the album’s tracklist. Most fans were ready for whatever Childers wanted to release. Others weren’t sure about the lyrical content of the gospel-sounding song.

In “Angel Band” Tyler Childers envisions a Heaven where everyone is welcome regardless of religious affiliation. Set against the gospel-esque backdrop, many people weren’t sure how to take the universal reconciliation that Childers was singing about. Recently, Childers opened up about where he was coming from on the song and what to expect from the album.

Yesterday, Tyler Childers released a short video containing a conversation between him and novelist/music journalist Silas House. During the short video, which is only a fraction of the interview, Childers reveals the spirit of the album and its lead single.

Tyler Childers on Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven

“I hope that people take that it doesn’t matter – race, creed, religion, and all of that. The most important part is to protect your heart, cultivate that, and make that something useful for the world,” Tyler Childers says as the video opens.

House points out that Childers’ new record celebrates traditional gospel music while also being a commentary on religious tradition. Both Silas House and Tyler Childers agree that he took an “ecumenical” approach with the album.

Then, Tyler Childers talked a little more about “Angel Band” and how it anchors the album. “It’s an anchor in a way that, especially being the first foot out the door, I think that it helps people know what this album isn’t intended to be.” In other words, this won’t be a gospel album. Instead, it’s a collection of songs that comes from a spiritual place.

“It’s much more so completely coming from a place of harmony and welcoming and this idea that we are all in this thing together,” Tyler Childers explained. “Throughout the album, there’s a lot of talk about… Like, ‘The Way of the Triune God’ and the Holy Trinity being a very Christian thing and talk about Jesus. That’s just from my raising. The Great Beyond and the Almighty is this massive idea and notion and that’s my filter. That’s what I’ve grown up being taught. And, toying with that idea is just how I talk about it, I suppose.”

Tyler Childers went on to say that he believes that is just one way to look at “the same thing.” He added that “Angel Band” is his way of saying that “God is bigger than all our gods.”

We’ll get to dive deep into Childers’ theology next Friday when Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven drops.