Tucker Beathard has officially dropped the second chapter of his debut double album, King, on August 21st. While it has only been two years since the release of the first volume, Nobody’s Everything, Beathard approaches this project with a different perspective having endured the passing of his younger brother, Clay, in December 2019. King acts as a tribute to his little brother, as the album title bears Clay’s middle name.
“Such a big piece of my heart will always be with Clay, and I guess when thinking about, ‘What’s the stamp of this project; what’s the overall theme,’ my little bother passing away is definitely the biggest thing that’s happened in my life and has really impacted me in a lot of ways,” Beathard told Sounds Like Nashville in an exclusive interview. “It just felt like it needed to be the forefront of this whole story that’s coming out and I just wanted a piece of him carried over on this project.”
The album features 13 tracks, all of which were co-written and co-produced by the Nashville native. He also boasts lead guitar and drum credits on each track. Some of the album’s songs were written up to five years ago, and some are brand new, but they all work together to tell stories of life, heartbreak, and faith while continuing his musical evolution.
Beathard showcases this throughout the album, beginning with “Better Than Me,” an ode to lost love against a backdrop of his signature hard rock sound. Then there’s “You Would Think,” which the singer co-wrote with his father Casey Beathard, and at first listen, sounds like a nostalgic breakup song. However, Beathard explains that the tune was actually written about another kind of strained relationship.
“When we were writing it, I was under the impression that we were coming from a standpoint of a kid talking to his dad,” he says. “If you listen back through that lens, you realize there’s nothing in the song that puts it in a corner that clarifies who exactly, or what relationship dynamic is being talked about, so I think that’s the cool thing about that one.”
The singer infuses humor and flexes his songwriting skills on “One Upper,” a rowdy song about a bar scene, and “20-10 Tennessee,” in which he compares the ups and downs of a football game to that of a relationship. In “Find Me Here,” Beathard gets authentically honest, painting a picture of a life that has fallen victim to vices and hoping God doesn’t make his return when he’s in that place. The album then closes with the powerful “I Ain’t Without You,” which was co-written by Beathard and his father and finds the singer processing his brother’s passing while finding true faith through tragedy.
“The whole song is really a song that was written about realizing the power of Jesus Christ, to be honest,” says Beathard of the closing tune. “I was always scared to death of something like this happening in my family, so scared of having to deal with something like this, and I knew I wouldn’t be strong enough. I realized that, yeah, I am not strong enough by any means, but the Lord is, and that’s honestly just what I realized and experienced and the truth I found in that situation after my brother passing.”
Although King was born out of Beathard’s own experiences of life, love and tragedy, he hopes listeners can take refuge in the project and relate it to their own experiences, just as he has done with the albums that influenced him.
“The beautiful thing about music is it’s a voice, it’s a language for feelings,” he says. “That’s what made me fall in love with music growing up — hearing different things and feeling like I could relate to them and be moved by them and they can speak to my soul. If my music can do that for anyone else, I know how great of a feeling that is, so that’s really what I hope people find in this album.”