Chattanooga, TN artist Jason Lyles is planning to release his newest album, Tandem, Friday. While its CD release was Friday, September 30 at Chattanooga’s Pax Breu Ruim, listeners can expect to find the full album on streaming services October 21. Lyles has released singles “Bargain Bin” and the titular track, “Tandem”, from the upcoming album, are available now on major streaming platforms.
Lyles is native to the Chattanooga area, having grown up in North Georgia. His childhood is where he pulls inspiration for his sound today. From the rock and pop of his adolescence, Lyles slots himself into the indie rock category and considers it the best umbrella for his “hard to box” style. He finds inspiration from an array of artists, such as Cheap Trick and Weezer.
“My audio engineer Andrew says I sound like a mix of David Bowie and Tom Petty,” Lyles said.
Tandem was not even supposed to be an album during the production of its first single, “Bargain Bin”. With how “big” the sounds of “Bargain Bin” are, Lyles said he was not expecting his work with producer William Bowers – which consisted mainly of acoustic guitar and production work and resulted in three tracks on the album – to fit so well into one unit. However, after writing more pieces that balanced out the softer tracks with “Bargain Bin,” Lyles found that the songs could merge together in a sort of “journey through the cosmos” on the album. The album’s title itself fits into this theme of merging.
Lyles worked with numerous locals in the music scene for Tandem. Along with Bowers, he also collaborated with audio engineer Andrew Preavett. Local artists Gabe Lane, Amanda Cagle, Jeff Bridges, Tyler Green, Sandra Hyers, and Stephen Bearden made feature appearances, as well as the string work of Stephanie Brooks. The record was mastered by Brandon Allshouse at Steelhouse Mastering.
Lyles said that Tandem is “all about going through life together,” and its production collaborations demonstrate as much. He hopes the songs on the album “lift people up” and “lend some hope and happiness.” He even included a cover of Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” in the track list as a special tribute to his wife. For the general audience, though, Lyles created original songs, hoping that “people walk away from the album with a connection to the themes of hope, togetherness, and overcoming negativity.”