“Ever since I first learned how to strum a couple chords on a guitar, rock music has been a huge influence on my style,” says Tyler Braden. “I think that Neon Grave really kicks it up a notch. It has that underlying thread of country storytelling, but it also channels the same kind of energy that fans feel during my live shows. I’m excited for everyone to hear and experience the direction that we’re headed in.”
Neon Grave, produced by Randy Montana and released via Warner Music Nashville, marks a creative milestone for Braden. The charismatic singer-songwriter has spent much of his young life cultivating his distinctive musical vision. He’s also built a massive fan base through a series of more than a dozen successful digital releases, racking up an incredible 200 million streams. Meanwhile, he’s made his mark as a powerhouse live performer, with an earthy energy to match his emotionally insightful, melodically infectious songs.
The six tracks that comprise Neon Grave offer an impressive sampling of Braden’s dynamic musical approach, which effortlessly combines a deep-rooted grounding in country tradition with the rollicking, high-energy instincts of a born rock ‘n’ roller.
Braden’s ability to imbue his self-penned tunes with gritty urgency and emotional intimacy is reflected in the swaggering, irony-laden title track, and on the stirring “Try Losing One.” The latter number appears on Neon Grave in two distinct versions, one with Braden’s heartfelt solo vocal and the other as an emotion-charged duet with Sydney Sierota of Echosmith. The original version of “Try Losing One” hit No. 1 on Sirius XM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown, while the duet is accompanied by a black-and-white video that underlines the song’s stark emotional landscape.
“Songwriting is one of the most satisfying parts of music for me,” Braden notes. “Building a song from nothing makes you feel something that’s hard to explain. Especially when it’s something that people can relate to. Every song on Neon Grave has a lot of emotional value for me, different ups and downs, and different moments of relatability. I wanted people to feel what I felt when writing these songs. I feel like, if I can make that happen, it’ll be a success.”
Braden’s songs, like his personality, reflect the solid foundation of his personal history. Growing up in the small rural community of Slapout, Alabama, he began playing guitar and writing songs in his teens, with the support of parents who were musicians themselves. He soon demonstrated his mettle as a live performer, fronting a hard- charging band and gaining a reputation for playing four-hour cover-song sets.
He also channeled his energies into his work as a firefighter in nearby Montgomery, learning some key life lessons that he says been able to apply in his musical life. “Being a firefighter taught me emotional stability,” Braden states, adding, “That line of work is mentally tough, and the fire service helped to make me the level- headed man that I am.”
Braden continued to serve as a firefighter after moving to Music City to pursue his musical career. He met his manager in January 2017 following a performance in Nashville’s influential Whiskey Jam concert series, which led to his current recording deal with Warner Music Nashville. He released his well-received debut EP, What Do They Know, in 2021.
The propulsive entertainer continues to win new fans, maintaining a strong online presence and performing live on stages across America. “Our live shows are really high energy,” he asserts. “We try to build moments of emotion into our set list to create a true experience that people will remember. We don’t want it to feel like just a list of songs. And I’m confident that anyone who sees one of our shows will want to see another.”
Braden has also made the most of his dues-paying gigs as an opening act, warming up shows for such superstars as Brooks & Dunn, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and Mitchell Tenpenny. He’ll join Luke Bryan’s Country On tour this summer.
“I’ve learned a lot from the acts we’re toured with, from watching how they formulate their sets to how they interact with the crowd,” he says. “My favorite way to get people to hear my music is touring as much as possible and getting the live versions out there. That way, the fans can really feel the emotion that we want to convey. That’s my way of spreading the true intention of the songs. So come to one of our shows, and I promise that you’ll get the real deal.”