Tyler Hubbard’s ‘Back Then Right Now’ Takes Listeners On a Nostalgic Journey To Simpler Times
“Back Then Right Now” follows Hubbard’s back-to-back No.1s “5 Foot 9” and “Dancin’ In The Country.”
Tyler Hubbard; Photo by John Shearer
Tyler Hubbard transports listeners to a state of pure nostalgia in his brand-new single, “Back Then Right Now.”
Released on September 8, the tune was penned by Hubbard with Jessie Jo Dillion, Geoff Warburton and David Garcia on what he described to be a “typical day in Nashville.” The country star recalled being in Garcia’s home studio when they began to reminisce on life stories from their youth and the days before the constant use of technology. This idea quickly evolved into to a story that “encompasses the heart of being present and living in the moment and living life to the fullest,” and making the time to stop and appreciate the simpler things.
“It was a great day. I think we all kind of needed it. It was just a reminder of the importance of making memories, being present and kind of where we came from as well,” Hubbard told Country Now and other outlets while reflecting on the writing process.
New Single Impacts Radio On September 11
With the pop-country sound and feel-good, nostalgic mantra laced throughout, “Back Then Right Now” is primed for radio airplay.
“I think nostalgia in general is just, a lot of times, it’s good. It’s good feelings and good memories and who doesn’t like that? So I’m hoping that everyone can channel that and that this song kind of takes them to that happy place and that we can sort of infiltrate our current, present-day with things that made us happy.”
The country singer went on to explain that when creating this song as well as his next set of releases, he pulled from musical influences of the late ‘80s and throughout the ‘90s. This resulted in a sound that reflects the old-school dance songs that are known for evoking a fresh and comforting feeling among listeners.
Drew Inspiration From Country Greats
“A lot of it’s probably in the pop world, but I was still listening to a lot of Southern Rock and Allman Brothers and Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and also country artists like George Strait and George Jones and Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks. So I think a little bit of that’s throughout this song,” Hubbard said before adding, “I feel like in this new music, I’m just channeling a lot of the nostalgic feels and sounds and lyrically, my writing is probably being channeled in there as well. It’s really fun. It feels like where the music’s taken me and where the music’s taken itself and sometimes you just gotta let the music lead.”
Fans who have attended Hubbard’s live shows within the last month got an early taste of “Back Then Right Now” as he’s already begun to test it out in his setlist. In doing so, he found that his listeners quickly took a liking to the vibrancy in the lyrics and comfort in the melody that the song provides.
“Myself and the band feel really comfortable with it on stage,” he shared. “It’s cool because it feels like the reaction is what you want to see where people are excited, they start to move, they really engage with the lyrics, and they want to know what the words are. You can see ’em trying to sing by the second or third chorus, they’re trying to put the words together and you can just tell they’re really engaged and really enjoying the song. “
A Project In The Works
Hubbard hinted that “Back Then Right Now” will likely appear on a bigger project that’s in the works. This yet-to-be-announced collection will follow his self-titled debut album as a solo artist that dropped at the start of 2023. In that time he explained that he’s continued to write music and explore new ways to express his creativity in this next phase of his career.
“I think I’m gonna continue just to record, maybe even more continually. It just kind of motivates me and pushes me as a writer and keeps it fun and interesting as opposed to knowing like, ‘okay, I put an album out, so it’s gonna be another year and a half before I put another album out.’ Because the traditional way can sometimes make it tough to stay creative. It can be discouraging at times when you’re in that season of knowing it’s gonna be a long time before I’m recording again and all that. So I’m just having a lot of fun writing a lot of songs, recording what makes sense, and figuring out a fun and strategic way to roll ’em out.”
The new release also comes hot on the heels of the one-year anniversary of Hubbard’s Dancin’ In The Country EP. Unleashing this project in August of 2022 was a milestone for the singer/songwriter as it solidified the start of his journey as a solo artist since parting ways with the country duo, Florida Georgia Line.
Being Away From Family Poses A Challenge
Within the past year, Hubbard admitted he’s had plenty of highs and lows while trying to establish his own sound and create live shows in a way he’s never done before. He discovered that the biggest challenge by far has been spending more time away from his family.
“There’s always challenges when you’re rebuilding something or when you’re building anything from the ground up. So it’s been fun. It’s been a lot of work. Fortunately, I love working, so it works out okay for me, but the challenge is being away from the family, you know, having to really put in that work and be out on the road and sometimes be away from the kids for a week at a time. Those are hard weeks because my wife and I, we’re a team and also our kids are in the stage of life where a week is a long time for them and a lot of valuable memories are made in a week. So missing some of that’s unfortunate, but at the same time, I’ve gotten to make an incredible amount of memories with them on the road and off the road,” he explained honestly.
Being on the road as a solo artist has also brought its share of surprises, like the fact that his growing fanbase now includes a much younger audience than he’s seen in the past.
“I’ve really started to collect a lot of amazing young fans like almost my kids’ age,” he revealed. “I don’t know what that’s from. Is that because maybe I recorded songs that my kids liked and here we are? Or maybe it’s TikTok or maybe it’s, I don’t really know. But it’s been interesting to see how the fan base has grown and also expanded and got more diverse.”
Seeing these younger fans in the crowd has inspired Hubbard to channel that same youthful energy and joy that they bring to the audience of his shows into his sets and in the studio.
“A lot of times that innocence and that joy that they get out of just the smallest thing, so going to a show for them is the best night of their life where sometimes I need to be reminded, this could be the best night of our life. So, yeah, it’s special and I’m grateful for those fans,” he said.
He went on to explain how this new growing fanbase has not only impacted his energy on stage but also the type of music he chooses to put out into the world.
“When I’m picking songs, I’m like, I need to pick songs thinking about my demographic, thinking about my audience, and I wanna serve the audience. I’ve thought about that a lot while I’m putting this next project together.”
After gaining new listeners, earning two No. 1 hits with “5 Foot 9” and “Dancin’ In The Country,” and touring across the country, all in just one year, Hubbard revealed he’s feeling “really grateful” for the current season he’s in. Moving forward, his main goal is to maintain the steady pace that’s proven to be pretty successful so far, and continue welcoming new fans in the process.
“Hopefully I can have more number ones, and honestly I just wanna keep doing what I’m doing. I’m really in a groove and it feels good to be back in a rhythm,” he shared while reflecting on his next set of goals. “For so long I was a little bit out of rhythm and out of practice and I had to really try hard to work those muscles creatively and figure out unique ways to do that. So yeah, to be out on the road, to be comfortable on a bus and comfortable on stage and really feeling like I got the show dialed, it feels really good. I just wanna keep growing. That’s been really a fun thing to see. Like every show I feel like, man, we just got 2% stronger, 2% stronger, 2% stronger and so I’m just more excited for next year. Even if I just stay on pace that I’m on right now, I’m really excited to see where it goes and just continue to do what I love. That’s what it’s all about and I’m getting to do that. So I feel like I’m in a great place and so happy.”
On Tour This Fall
Tyler Hubbard has spent the summer performing at a variety of fairs and festivals, but beginning September 28, he will join Old Dominion on the band’s upcoming No Bad Vibes Tour.
“I love those guys and I’m excited to spend some time together and play some shows. We’ve already talked about writing songs while we’re out there on the tour, I know we’ll write some songs and love working with those guys. So yeah, it’s gonna be a fun fall.”
This new leg of shows kicked off September 7 and features over 30 additional arenas nationwide. Old Dominion will wrap up their continental U.S. tour at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in December.
Tyler Hubbard is next scheduled to perform at Boots in the Park in Fresno, California.
For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit Tyler Hubbard’s official website HERE.
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