Tyler Childers dropped Purgatory in 2017. Then, he set a streak of dropping an album every year. That ended with 2020’s Long Violent History. Since then, the Kentucky troubadour has been pretty quiet. His social media accounts have been all but dead and there’s been no word on new music. He has, however, been playing a few live shows here and there.
Last weekend, Tyler Childers played the annual Avett Brothers at the Beach Festival at the Hard Rock in Riviera Maya, Mexico. While there, he let the crowd know what he’s been doing in his downtime. It turns out that Childers has been deep-cleaning his house and writing songs. After sharing the update, he introduced the crowd to his new song called “Luke.”
“It was around Christmastime, and I was thinking about the shepherds that had the angel come down. It’s only, like, a two-verse moment in a rather large text. It can be read and passed by,” Tyler Childers began. Then he went on to note how easily the shepherds in the Bible seemed to accept the angel coming down and delivering its all-important message about the birth of Christ.
However, Tyler Childers contends that what ended up being a couple of verses was probably fifteen minutes of panic. Here these shepherds are, minding their own business. Then, out of nowhere, this angel descends upon them from the Heavens to deliver a message. It had to have been a frightening moment. Fifteen minutes of “what the hell is going on?” seems fair.
Before getting into the new song, Tyler Childers said, “I was thinking about that and alien invasions and I wrote this song.”
Tyler Childers’ First “Christmas Song”
Childers sets the scene in the first lines of the song. “Is it a bird, Is it a plane? / Is it perhaps I’m going insane / from all night abiding the field?” The rest of the opening is made up of the various frightened and confused reactions that one might have when seeing an angel coming over the ridgeline.
Much like this passage in the Bible, Tyler Childers’ song only contains two verses. In the second verse, he describes the angel. He doesn’t go too in-depth but his simple description is enough to justify the fear that permeates the rest of the song. “It’s a woman on fire with two wings. / While she burns, it seems to me / She’s just as calm as she can be / Tryin’ to get us to hear what she sings.”
Tyler Childers ended the tune by saying “That’s my first Christmas song. I think it counts. I’m calling it a Christmas song anyway.”