Michigan native Tyler Allred made his way to California in 2017 with a little more than an old, dilapidated guitar and a handful of cigarettes. Overcoming addiction has given him a new lease on life and allowed him to write very emotional songs with heartbreaking themes and poignant relatable lyrics. A perfect showcase of this raw talent and self-awareness is his new single “What’s The Move.”
The song starts off with the beat of an acoustic guitar strumming in a folk-style rhythm, and the first lyrics are “Spent all my cash on cigarettes and tattoos, and a bunch of other shit that I can’t use,” immediately introducing you to one of the main themes of the song, bad decisions leading to financial insecurity.
This is something so many of us can relate to, especially if you add addiction into the mix. The chorus branches out to a wider crew of instruments that give a full sound while still maintaining the folky charm. Allred then introduces the second theme of the song, a girl he had feelings for. “What’s The Move” is the
perfect question for both themes.
The music video to accompany the song looks like everybody’s perfect picture of what a day in Venice Beach would look like in the late `80s, perfectly shown through the lens of a Samsung S8 with the VHS filter on. It was important to Allred to shoot in Venice as that’s where he wrote the song in the summer of 2018.
The aesthetic of the iconic Venice surroundings shot with a vintage filter match perfectly with the indie/ folk style of the track. This is a winning combo, sure to make your ears and eyes very pleased.
Hey Tyler! It's great to chat with you! First off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m originally from Battle Creek, Michigan. I’m a Capricorn and a recovering drug addict. I enjoy Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kool-Aid, Marlboros, really bitter coffee, shopping for windbreakers and hanging out writing songs and stuff.
What made you want to leave Michigan for a life on the West Coast?
I was born in California but moved to Michigan when I was like one year old, so I always sort of planned to come back. It all kind of aligned perfectly because I wanted to come here to pursue music but originally came just to get a fresh start on life and try to recover from some addiction issues. So basically I came to get clean and stayed for music.
In the single “What’s The Move,” you tackle two pretty heavy topics, financial insecurity and love. Why did you choose to include both themes in one song?
Really it’s just what was going on in my life at that time. Being sober, I had started pretty much primarily spending my money on cigarettes and tattoos, as the song says. I thought of the opening line after having spent my last bit of money on exactly that, and then the line “Whats the move? I want your alchemy. I want your technicolour blues.” Came to mind. The song is basically saying to myself and someone else, “So now what? What’s next?”
We love the music video! Can you tell us a bit about the creation process?
Well, I came up with the idea for the song in Venice, so I knew I wanted the video to be there. My good friend Ryan Hilary (editor/co-director) of the video and I decided, “Let’s make the best worst music video ever made.” So we just decided to go VHS style, throw a sick windbreaker on me and strap some blades to my feet. Then Ice cream and pizza seemed like a good idea. It was all shot in the course of one day and most of what transpired was completely on impulse.
Who are your major influences when writing music?
I’ve always been very inspired by Conor Oberst & Elliott Smith. They are two songwriters who really changed my idea on the direction I wanted to take when I was young. Bob Dylan, of course. I’m also really into Margot & the nuclear so and so’s, Pixies, John Lennon, Neil Young, and Cat Stevens, just to name a few.
What new projects can we expect from you as the year progresses?
Well, I’m going to be releasing another single and video called “Upside of being Down,” followed by the release of my E.P. Everything Is Fine. Very happy to have had the pleasure to work with Kris Trindl on all of these songs; he is an amazing producer. Then after that’s all out, I’m hoping to record and release a few more singles before the year is done.