Editors' Notes “If I'm not confident in the music that I have my name on, then it’s not worth it to me,” Tucker Beathard tells Apple Music. Beathard shares that name with his veteran country hit-writer father Casey Beathard, but he's establishing his own Nashville niche with a blend of country wordplay and an angsty, serrated hard-rock guitar attack. KING is the second installment of his double debut album, and he titled it with the middle name of the brother he lost unexpectedly. Not only did Beathard write the material, occasionally in collaboration with his dad, he also helped guide the production and laid down some of rigorous, bruising riffs and drum patterns. “I think that kind of goes along with really taking pride in making music that I hear in my head that I want to express,” he says. “Some of the best musicians in the world are here in Nashville and they're great, but for this project, there was a level of raw authenticity that I wanted to express, that you just can't get from some of these things being played or the drums or guitars being played by somebody else other than myself. I just wanted this album to be something that people can listen to and get a full representation of who I am as an artist.” Beathard talks through each of the tracks below.

Better Than Me
“I couldn't think of a better opening track to really kind of punch people in the mouth and get their attention. The drums just sound big and arena. It's just a hooky, aggressive guitar riff that just really draws you in from the get-go. I played the drums and all the guitars on that track.”

You Would Think
“A lot of people automatically assume that it's just plain and simply a song about a relationship with a girl, heartbreak or something like that. But we left it open for interpretation so more people can take it however they want to take it. That's kind of the beauty of songwriting, is being able to relate to as many people as possible. Me personally, I was inspired more by the thought of taking on the role of a kid talking to a father who isn't around.”

One Upper
“I had that percussive guitar riff. Jeff Hyde's one of the best at that really picking, funky guitar playing. So I knew that guitar riff would definitely be something Jeff would be interested in, and he’s a great writer, so I love when I can bring good ideas for him to help me fully write through. The idea was just talking about everybody knows those people that kind of one-up you in everything you do. It's kind of about knowing what you've got and knowing that I'm confident in what I have and nobody can beat that.”

20/10 TN
“That song kind of exemplifies what I love about country music and that style of writing. The older country songs, they did a lot of three chords and the truth, and in ways that a lot of people wouldn't think. When you can relate a college football game to a heartbreak, I never heard a story being told like that. Even though the song was years old for me and it was out on an EP with my previous record label, they took all the music off of [digital platforms], so I had the opportunity to re-record songs if I wanted to. You get to spend so much time with a song and then really figure out how you want to do it, and I'm glad I decided to do that one again and not just forget about it.”

Paper Town
“It kind of has that Texas shuffle, almost like a ZZ Top-type shuffle beat to it, that sets itself apart from any other song on that album. The idea behind it is kind of having that angsty attitude of wanting to get out and feeling like you're bigger than whatever it is, your town or the situation you're in, and just kind of being young and fiery and having a chip on your shoulder and chasing bigger things.”

You On
“What's cool about mine and my dad's relationship, and I wouldn't have expected it when I first started writing with him, but when we're writing, we both are totally business, to where we're both songwriters wanting to write the best song. I don't have many of those sexy songs or whatever you want to call them. That's not a common thing that I write about, but I do love the role that that plays. I just think the hook itself is a really good hook with ‘Turn the world off and you on.’ I just wanted to make it as intimate as possible.”

Miss You Now
“It's really just the concept of when you miss someone too much, they're kind of with you wherever you go and you see them in everything you do and you can’t really run from it. That's the whole twist that I thought was a cool way of approaching the simple idea of missing someone. Over the years, it's meant different things for me and related to different things. Started off with my grandpa, and then over the years, it's related to me and other people in different ways.”

Only
“That one is probably at the end of the day my favourite one, just because I went a little deeper and darker internally to get that song out. I internalize a lot, and to be able to bring that out to light and express that deeper thing that you hear in the song, it feels therapeutic for me, and that's what I love. With the guitar tones and the guitar parts and the drums, there's really only one way to really get it to do what I was trying to express, and that was by making it intense and heavy and angsty.”

Find Me Here (Broke Down)
“That song was kind of a product of being young and being out on the road and falling into the whole sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll thing, and realizing that it was really just leaving me more empty than anything. It's almost like a spiritual tug-of-war internally, and it's just kind of coming to the realization that I need to live a little differently and that ‘come to Jesus’-type realization. Lyrically, that's probably one of my favourite ones that I've written, because I think it's a really true song.”

Too Drunk
“Sometimes it's just fun to rock out and just have a light, fun song to play. That was one of the first songs I recorded when I got out of my first record deal, so I was kind of fired up to just make music regardless of what it sounds like. I definitely cranked up all the amps.”

Faithful
“It's my version of a love song. You can tell a girl whatever you want, how good she looks or this or that, but if you really want to get down to a deeper love, then you would tell a girl that you want to be faithful and do something that isn't easy. That song, it's just kind of taking a simple concept and really writing around what it would mean to do that. What would you say to a girl if that's the message you want to get across to her?”

Can’t Stay Here
“It's just a fun, catchy song that instead of talking about getting drunk and taking advantage of someone or anything like that, it's really talking about standing up and not falling back into what you know you shouldn't do, just drawing a line and holding yourself to that standard of not just going along with that anymore.”

I Ain’t Without You
“In December [2019], my little brother passed away, and that made such a big impact on me; something that is that big of a life-changing event, I couldn't leave that out. During that time of trying to deal with the piece of my heart that he'll always have, I did realize more than ever the strength that I found in Jesus Christ. That was just something that I was experiencing in my life more than ever. I had the idea through experience of I didn't think I would be strong enough for this, and I'm not strong enough for this, but I am with Him. I knew the only person that could relate to what I was saying was my dad, because he was right there with me through this, and we were going through the same exact thing. It was a special song to be able to write with him in that time of both of our lives.”

SONG
Better Than Me
1
3:24
 
You Would Think
2
3:20
 
One Upper
3
3:18
 
20/10 TN
4
3:25
 
Paper Town
5
4:06
 
You On
6
3:14
 
Miss You Now
7
3:56
 
Only
8
4:54
 
Find Me Here (Broke Down)
9
3:54
 
Too Drunk
10
3:29
 
Faithful
11
3:29
 
Can't Stay Here
12
3:21
 
I Ain't Without You
13
3:38
 

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