/Countrys Tyler Childers Shares Why He Wanted His New Video To Be A Gay Love Story

Countrys Tyler Childers Shares Why He Wanted His New Video To Be A Gay Love Story

Fans eager for country music to shed its conservative reputation got a rude awakening this week when Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” ― a song with lyrics that evoke vigilantism and xenophobia ― catapulted to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

But amid the controversy, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers is inadvertently offering a musical counterpoint by way of the music video for his latest single, “In Your Love.”

Directed by Bryan Schlam and produced in collaboration with queer writer Silas House, the “In Your Love” video follows two male coal miners, Jasper and Matthew (played by actors Colton Haynes and James Scully), in 1950s Appalachia who fall in love despite experiencing violent homophobia on the job.

In true country fashion, the couple’s yearslong romance ends on a bittersweet note. However, a glimpse of a four-leaf clover reminds viewers that the relationship was not in vain.

Watch Tyler Childers’ “In Your Love” video below.

“In Your Love” is already a certified hit, racking up more than 3.4 million views since its debut last week and garnering praise from Billboard and Rolling Stone, among other outlets. The song will appear on Childers’ forthcoming sixth album, “Rustin’ in the Rain,” due out in September.

In an interview with NPR’s Ann Powers, the Grammy nominee said he wanted to honor his cousin, who is gay, by putting a same-sex romance at the center of his video.

“Even if you have the privilege of walking through this world unfazed, it’s more important than ever to stand with and for and up for things, to be vocal,” said Childers, who is straight.

House echoed those sentiments, noting: “I think one of the things that makes Tyler such a great artist and such a great friend is that he’s so empathetic. He wants to tell a story like this because he has friends and family who are members of the LGBT community, and are part of the story of Appalachia, too.”

“These are human stories, not political stories,” he added.

Tyler Childers will release his sixth album, "Rustin' in the Rain," in September.
Tyler Childers will release his sixth album, “Rustin’ in the Rain,” in September.

Stephen J. Cohen via Getty Images

Of course, Childers couldn’t have anticipated the success of Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” when he recorded “In Your Love” and shot the accompanying video. Still, critics have compared Childers’ song favorably to Aldean’s, noting that it represents a more forward-thinking Nashville.

Fellow country artists seemed to agree.

“I hope people share it and lift up good songwriting, deep music and positive messages because we could use more of this right now,” musician Margo Price tweeted.

Four-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell wrote: “Go [Childers] go ― much respect.”

Childers, who hails from Kentucky, has stated that “In Your Love” isn’t intended as a critique of rural America, despite the video’s heartfelt, pro-LGBTQ message.

“I had people in my graduating class that ran as far away from all of that as possible,” he told NPR. “But it shaped me as a person. There are things that need to be shed, but you don’t have to throw away everything. There are beautiful parts of that lifestyle.”

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