SiriusXM Country’s Track by Track with Tim Hicks
Multi-platinum, award winning Niagara Falls-native Tim Hicks is back with his fourth studio album, New Tattoo out this Friday, June 22nd! SiriusXM has your exclusive album premiere the day before the album comes out! Even better, Tim will walk me through the songs on his new album Track-By-Track on SiriusXM Country Channel 171, Thursday at 2 pm ET.
New Tattoo has a little bit of everything. Tim will have your toes tappin’ right off the top with the title track and the roaring set-starter titled ‘Loud.’ He’ll tug at your heartstrings with ‘Best I Can’ inspired by his wife, and ‘Throw a Ball’ penned for his son. You’ll hear both vocal and guitar harmonies on ‘The Worst Kind’ which features Lindsay Ell and you may even hear some Beach Boys infused sounds on ‘Can’t Take It Away.’
If you’ve been following Tim’s music since the beginning, you know he grew up saying something I always say – “I was born 30 years too late!” He’s always loved classic rock like Bon Jovi and Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones mixed with the Canadiana of Blue Rodeo & The Northern Pikes. Tim is right when he says, “I have a hard time filtering out my influences, and more so than ever on this record.” I can hear ‘em and I like it! Tim will tell me more about that when he explains the song ‘1975.’
Tim believes that he took some big risks vocally and sonically on this record, and he’s proud of that:
1. New Tattoo
Tim Hicks compares releasing an album to a new tattoo, saying both stick with you forever! His daughter may have helped pick the title track based on her quick study of the catchy chorus…
Tim admits this song was written within days of the release of 2016’s ‘Shake These Walls.’ It was one of the first songs written for the album and stands as a tribute to the music he loved from the 70s. He remembers calling his parents to ask them how much things cost back then, too.
3. If The Beat’s Alright
When I bring this song up, Tim yells, I LOVE THIS SONG! The story goes…that after an unsuccessful pitch-meeting in Nashville, he was complaining to producer Jeff Coplan about how he couldn’t find a simple, fun, repetitive chorus. A few margaritas later…the lyrics & the drinks were both flowing.
4. What A Song Should Do
This song was a collaboration with a few other Canadians, one who had just been kicked out of a session for her writing style elsewhere. This song is almost a jab at the person who kicked her out…because the definition of a GREAT song can vary from person to person. What a song should do is really up to the ears that hear it!
The album’s first single “LOUD” was officially licensed by the NHL for broadcast during the 2018 playoffs, which is no surprise for Tim Hicks fans. Tim was stuck on yearning for a one-word track title similar to Luke Bryan’s ‘Fast.’ The song was written as soon as someone asked him, “What word describes Tim Hicks?” He also reminds me that music is just as much of a team sport as hockey is.
6. Gettin’ To Me
Lyrically, this song takes the listener down a path of what-ifs, wondering what could have been. However, Tim tells me this song was born on a ‘Wild-Card-Wednesday.’ I bet I made the same face you’re making…what that means is no rules! Just a bunch of musicians getting together down in Nashville for a jam that isn’t specifically to write a song for a specific person or album. Well, there was actually ONE rule: “ANYTHING GOES!”
7. The Worst Kind (feat. Lindsay Ell)
Tim didn’t exactly mean for this song to be a duet when the writing began, but the idea of a guitar harmony was too cool to pass up! He chose Lindsay because he wanted to harmonize their guitars together, giving her full kudos for being a wicked guitar player. As for the words, his producer asked him, ‘The worst kind of WHAT?’ too, and he says it’s the worst kind of end or the worst kind of situation.
8. Throw A Ball
This song was inspired by a heart-breaking phone call Tim made to his wife and kids. He had asked to speak to his son and he refused, saying it wasn’t fair that both his sister and mom had a song written for them. He wanted his own! Baseball is a special sport for Tim for a few reasons. He played growing up and remembers that it was special that his mom allowed his father to come and play catch even though they had split up. He also helped coach his son’s baseball team last year. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING!
The song title began as “You Make It Easy” but Jason Aldean went and released a song with that title already, damn. Fun fact: Donovan Woods is a writer on this track.
10. Best I Can
Tim says his wife is likely pissed at him for this one…only because the title is a phrase that she always says and it should have been HER song! She likes to remind him that everyone has their own story and everyone is doing the best they can with the cards they’ve been dealt. Tim also drew inspiration from his mother in the first verse, who raised two boys on her single, minimum-wage income. He has so much respect for everything she accomplished during such a tough time.
11. Can’t Take It Away
Tim channelled his inner Mutt Lange on this track, hoping for a key change or two that didn’t feel like key changes. There’s definitely a Beach Boys feel on this track, too. He says the lyrics are his words for…himself.
“It feels like I’m never quite there… never quite good enough … I’m trying to tell myself to just forget all that stuff and live in the moment and enjoy it.”
12. Drunk Me
“The idea is easy…drunk me & drunk you as expletives in the song to tell the story about this guy (true story from when Tim played cover tunes in the bars)… who was like a tasmanian devil going through the room looking for attention from women from one group to another. I was afraid I might offend someone but it’s meant to be fun stupidity…and I wish you could hear the outtakes. My producer Jeff always leaves something in the mix I don’t know about. The comic relief is definitely part of this song…”
Tim Hicks ‘New Tattoo’ Track-by-Track Schedule:
Thursday June 21st – 2 pm ET
Friday June 22nd – 9 am ET
Saturday June 23rd – 12 pm ET
Sunday June 24th – 6 pm ET
Tuesday June 25th – 10 am ET
Thursday June 27th – 5pm ET
Friday June 29th – 7 pm ET
Saturday June 30th – 8 am ET
Sunday July 1st – 8 pm ET
Monday July 2nd – 11 am ET
Tuesday July 3rd – 6 pm ET
Thursday July 5th – 5 pm ET