For his upcoming album, back-to-the-basics country star Tyler Childers is digging up his roots – dissecting where his religious upbringing veered from love and understanding to hellfire and brimstone – in order to cultivate the truth.

“I grew up Baptist and I was scared to death to go to hell,” Childers said of the new album. “A lot of that stuck with me. Filtering through that and trying to find the truth, and the beauty and the things you should think about and expelling all that nonsense has been something I’ve spent a lot of time on.”

His fifth studio album, Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?, is a collection that “came together through those reflections,” the “Country Squire” artist continued. “In a lot of ways, this is processing life experiences in the different philosophies and religions that have formed me, trying to make a comprehensive sonic example of that.”

Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? is three albums as one, in which the same eight songs are approached three different ways. With the help of his band, The Food Stamps, each track on the album gets the “Hallelujah,” “Jubilee,” and “Joyful Noise” treatment.

“Working with the same song three different ways is a nod to my raising, growing up in a church that believes in the Holy Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and what that means,” Childers explained. “The Father being the root, the place from which everything comes from, and The Son coming to free up some of those things, allowing it to be more open and welcoming. And then you have the Holy Ghost once The Son is gone—that feeling that’s supposed to keep us sustained until we are reunited, in whatever way that looks. Message wise, I hope that people take that it doesn’t matter race, creed, religion and all of that like—the most important part is to protect your heart, cultivate that and make that something useful for the world.”

Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? is set for a Sept. 30 release and follows Childers’ 2020 surprise album, Long Violent History.

The “Jubilee” and “Hallelujah” versions of his new song “Angel Band” can be heard below. Compare the two and let us know what you think in the comments.

TRACK LIST:

Hallelujah:
1. Old Country Church
2. Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
3. Two Coats
4. Purgatory
5. Way of the Triune God
6. Angel Band
7. Jubilee
8. Heart You Been Tendin’

Jubilee:
1. Old Country Church
2. Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
3. Two Coats
4. Purgatory
5. Way of the Triune God
6. Angel Band
7. Jubilee
8. Heart You Been Tendin’

Joyful Noise:
1. Old Country Church
2. Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
3. Two Coats
4. Purgatory
5. Way of the Triune God
6. Angel Band
7. Jubilee
8. Heart You Been Tendin’

(Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)

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