Chris Tye is a Birmingham-based singer-songwriter who in April 2017 launched his second album, Stronger In Numbers; the successor to 2014’s The Paper Grenade. The lead track, Feature Fight, is accompanied by a specially made video by videographer Adam Hale, featuring dancers Laura Purkiss and Sebastian Loe (watch it above).
Stronger In Numbers features guest appearances from a string of West Midlands based artists, including Dan Whitehouse and Boat To Row front man Michael King, as well as a co-write with Jo Hamilton ( No Sing). The album was recorded in Kings Heath, Birmingham, over two months with producer and long-time collaborator Michael Clarke. In terms of the creative process and working with Michael again, Tye explains “ we’re both big fans of the classic singer-songwriter style, artists like John Martyn, Dylan, Neil Young … but we also love the big sound created by bands like The Shins, The National and The Verve”.
Performing what Tye describes as “urban folk music ”, an overarching thematic concept for the album is of redemption in the face of seemingly overwhelming adversity, and finding resolution in despair. As Tye explains “Just before I started making the album I lost a close friend to cancer, in those final days he had every hour plotted out and divided between family, friends and rest. These were obviously desperately sad times for him and everyone close to him but what struck me was the happiness, strength and energy he gained from being around his loved ones. Got me thinking that that’s really all we need in the end – other people – stronger in numbers ”. If There Is Love brings up the mood with a more upbeat vibe, and Feature Fight is a more brooding affair. The overall mix of redemption songs (The Half Way Up), classic love songs (If There Is Love ) and swirling, dream-like atmospherics (More Than A Dream) puts Tye on the map as one of the most talented, diverse songsmiths in the UK, reminiscent of fellow Midlander Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots.
Tye has previously shared stages with acts such as Ben Howard, Teddy Thompson, Fionn Regan, Sharon Van Etten, Rae Morris and Amy Winehouse. Expanding into film soundtrack work, he’s recently penned music for the short film Balancé (currently screening at film festivals across the world), and the forthcoming documentary, Irene’s Ghost. Tye continues to tour the UK, and with this masterful work, he will only continue to grow his ever-expanding fan base.