It’s been nearly four and a half years since California native, Tyler Hilton has released a full-length studio album, but today he is back with his fifth studio record entitled, City on Fire. Hilton co-wrote each of the twelve original tracks with his longtime friend and guitarist, Jaco Caraco and even worked on the LP with his old roommate and member of Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley who also contributed background vocals. Filled with a vast blend of genres, the singer-songwriter describes it as western indie-rock. Hilton created this record during a time of change in his life, dealing with losses of people close to him, along with the horrific wildfires in California. Persevering through it all, he is adamant that this is his favorite album of his entire career.
The record opens with the title-track and lead single, “City on Fire,” which tells the story of a man losing everything he cares about and what lengths he would go to reconcile that inside himself. Moving into the second track, which happens to be the second single released from this record, “How Long ‘Til I Lose You” is a mid-tempo tune that deliberates the question of when you will lose someone, rather than the if.
“How long ’til I lose you? / How long ’til I’m swept up, carried away / Hanging on to all that I can / How long ’til I lose you?” Hilton sings in the chorus.
One Tree Hill fans may favor the third track, “When the Night Moves” as it is the only duet on the LP, featuring Hilton’s former co-star and tour mate, Kate Voegele, who portrayed Mia Catalano on the hit television series. Though this is far from the first time the two have collaborated, their sublime harmonies on this uptempo tune are a true standout on the record. They harmonize on the chorus, “When the night moves / Us closer together / We move too / The heat of the moment / We fall into / We can make it last forever if we try / When the night moves”.
“Anywhere I Run” has an old western anthem vibe, while, “The Way That She Loves” is an uptempo heartfelt love song. Hilton’s blend of the rock, country and blues genres continue to be the backdrop for his unique storytelling throughout the entire record. “Get Down,” is a moody bluesy tune in which Hilton performed in the holiday Lifetime television movie he was a guest star in with a few of his former One Tree Hill castmates, entitled The Christmas Contract. “I Don’t Want to Be Scared” and “When I See You, I See Home” are the two most vulnerable tracks on the record. While one is romantic and one analyzes distinctive struggles, the singer-songwriter uses his lyrics in both songs as a way to showcase raw emotion.
“Find Me One” is the one bluegrass country tune from Hilton we never knew we needed. From the evident string instruments to his modified bluegrass vocals, this song is a highlight of the entire album. The record closes out with Hilton’s own acoustic stripped down rendition of superstar Rihanna’s double-platinum 2012 smash hit “Stay.” He truly made the song his own with the altered rhythm and vocals. Overall, this album candidly captures Hilton’s authentic and personal musical style for the first time in his interminable career.
He will head out to promote this project on his twenty-three date headlining ‘City on Fire Tour’ next month. The tour will stop in New York City on Saturday, March 2nd at The Loft at City Winery. Tickets are available here. Visit https://tylerhilton.com for a full list of dates.
City on Fire is now available everywhere you stream or buy music. Take a listen below.
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