Since bursting onto the scene with his 2X Platinum-certified, No. 1 hit “Drunk Me” in 2018, singer-songwriter Mitchell Tenpenny has been releasing a steady stream of new music. A little over four years later, Tenpenny has racked up 1.3 billion on-demand streams and a fan-base ravenous for new music.
On Friday (Sept. 16) Tenpenny will add 20 more tracks to his discography with his new album This Is The Heavy, out via Riser House/Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville.
“I don’t think fans can be overloaded with music. They’re overloaded every day with just the way cell phones work,” Tenpenny tells MusicRow. “I think people want it—and we write it all the time. Bobby Braddock told me one time, ‘You’re going to be buried with your best songs.’ But now, we can release more music, so a lot of these songs will get a chance to be heard when they wouldn’t have 10 years ago.”
Tenpenny, who co-wrote every song on the project, lovingly describes the music as “farm emo.” With its grungy guitars, pop-punk melodies and southern-inspired lyrics, “farm emo” sounds like the perfect description of This Is The Heavy.
“I love having guitars and big drums, but country music’s always been lyrics for me. To marry the two has been my goal for a long time,” Tenpenny says. “That’s why we named this album This Is The Heavy. Production-wise, I wanted it to be a little heavier, but lyrically, I’m always going to stick to what we do and what country music is all about: telling stories.”
Tenpenny’s farm emo can best be heard on songs such as “Good Place,” “Always Something With You,” and “Good And Gone.”
“I made this music with some of my best friends, Michael Whitworth, Andy Albert and Jordan Schmidt. Jordan, who co-produced the album, grew up with all of the same music. [This fusion of music] just naturally happens when you get in the room.”
A charming facet to Tenpenny’s music that has been ever-present since the beginning is his references to Nashville. Between him singing about a house party off of Franklin Pike on “More Than Whiskey Does” and his many mentions of bars in midtown, the songwriter is intentional with including details about his hometown.
“When I listen to artists, I want to hear about their story. I want to hear about their bar. I don’t always want to be vague,” Tenpenny says about his Music City references. “I want to tell people exactly what my life is. I want it to feel like a movie.”
On a clear highlight of This Is The Heavy, Tenpenny tells the story of meeting his fiancé and fellow artist Meghan Patrick on “Losers.” Written with Albert, J.T. Harding and Daniel Ross, the tune is named after the midtown bar that Tenpenny met and then proposed to Patrick in.
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“That’s my bar. I love that place. I’ve met so many people there. I met my fiancé there. I got engaged there,” Tenpenny shares. “Andy Albert came in the day we wrote that and said, ‘Mitchell, we’re writing a song about where you met Meghan. That’s your bar.
“I wanted Meghan to hear it and remember the story the way I remember it. I really concentrated on making it absolutely perfect so that she would love it,” he adds.
In addition to some new songs, This Is The Heavy includes Tenpenny’s top 10 single “Truth About You” and fan-favorite “Bucket List,” a special song to the songwriter.
“My last album Telling All My Secrets had a song about my dad that I lost when I was a kid. For this record, I wanted to write a song that talks about loss, but not in a way that’s specific to my dad. This one was one of those songs where I wanted to be a little more broad,” Tenpenny shares. “It’s just about how we don’t know how much time we have or what we have to do, so let’s let’s make a list and start crossing things off.”
Tenpenny’s This Is The Heavy will be available everywhere tomorrow.
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