Tyler Dial is jealous.
Though he was born and raised in Arizona, Denver has always been a leading lady in the heart of the rising country star. Taking frequent trips out to Colorado spurred a love affair between Dial and the Mile High City.
Their relationship seems to have hit the rocks though in his latest single, “Damn, Denver.”
Following two other releases this year —”Runnin’ Downhill” and “Way Back When”—”Damn Denver” sees Dial chide the capital city for stealing his girl, singing you stole her heart with that blue sky / you made her dream up a mile high / you took her breath and set her free / made her forget about this town and me / how could I compete?
“I spent a lot of time in Denver growing up, and it’s a city that I’ve always loved. So, when a girlfriend of mine broke up with me a few years ago to move there, I wasn’t even mad, I was jealous!” Dial tells American Songwriter. “The following week, I wrote this song and immediately knew it was special.”
After playing the track live for years, Dial was finally ready to share the recorded version last month. Today the singer-songwriter is back with a visual for the song, premiered exclusively by American Songwriter.
The video features Dial hitchhiking around Denver, mulling over memories of the girl he lost. Scenic and yearning, the video transports you into the town amid the painful tinge of heartbreak. Shots of Dial wandering around are mirrored by a woman doing the same, as she begins to fall in love with the city as well. By the end of the video, Dial finds himself in the snowy foothills of the Rocky Mountains playing guitar as the sun sets.
“I’ve never had so much fun shooting a video, which is saying a lot – considering how cold it was,” says Dial. “When we first landed in Denver, it was a very cloudy day. I was devastated because I sing about Denver’s blue sky in the song’s chorus but when we got downtown, the clouds miraculously parted and it became the perfect day – except for the 45-degree temperatures and record-high winds.”
He continues, “I’ve always been attracted to abstract music videos, the kind that encourages you to read between the lines. I feel like music videos in the country genre tend to be heavily narrative-driven and I wanted to lean into the mixed media approach that my favorite indie artists often utilize. Hopefully, I struck a balance between the two and told a narrative with the use of film.”
Check out the video for “Damn, Denver” premiering exclusively with American Songwriter below.
Dial is hot on the release cycle, having already shared three songs this year. His two previous singles “Runnin’ Downhill” and “Way Back When” showcase his “little bit country, little bit rock ‘n’ roll” mentality.
Having grown up in Arizona, far away from the heart of country music, Dial is just as much influenced by the likes of The Eagles or the Rolling Stones as he is by the country greats. Time spent in Austin, Texas for college brought in the country flavor, mixing the two genres to create something that is wholly his own.
“When I first moved to Nashville, I was so intent on being different and pushing boundaries because that’s what all my favorite artists did,” said Dial. “It took me a while to figure out how to be fresh, you just have to be yourself.
“I chose ‘Runnin’ Downhill’ as my first single because it was, sonically and visually, the farthest thing from the music I had previously released. It represented the new me,” he adds. “‘Way Back When’ furthered that narrative and was picked as the second release because it reminded me of the music I grew up loving on country radio. It has that familiar nostalgic sound but was also produced in a way that was a bit left of center.”
Dial is making his CMA Fest debut on June 9, taking the Spotlight Stage inside Fan Fair X. Ticketing and details on the festival can be found, HERE.
Photo by Alex Berger/Sweet Talk PR