Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?, the new album from Tyler Childers and his longtime band The Food Stamps, will be released September 30 on Hickman Holler Records/RCA Records. Conceptualized as a three-part project, the eight songs on the album are presented in a trio of distinct sonic perspectives—Hallelujah, Jubilee and Joyful Noise.
In advance of the release, the Hallelujah and Jubilee versions of “Angel Band” are out today — listen above. Additionally, a new music video for the song directed by Bryan Schlam is out now.
Produced by Childers and The Food Stamps, the eight-song collection features a mix of new and traditional songs and was primarily recorded in guitarist’s James Barker’s home studio, Dragline Studios. The Hallelujah version captures Tyler and the core band playing live in a single room over the course of two days, while the Jubilee version builds on it with the addition of strings, horns, background vocals and an array of worldly instruments such as dulcimer, mbira and sitar. The Joyful Noise version will be unveiled on release day.
Of the project, Childers shares:
“I grew up Baptist and I was scared to death to go to hell. And 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. This is a collection that came together through those reflections. 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.
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. 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.”
The Food Stamps are: Barker (pedal steel), Craig Burletic (bass), CJ Cain (guitar), Rodney Elkins (drums), Chase Lewis (keyboards) and Jesse Wells (guitar, fiddle).
The new album is the first new music from Childers since 2020’s Grammy-nominated surprise release, Long Violent History.