Remember When Avicii Went Country?
Perhaps it's more accurate to say that country music came to Avicii? The Swedish DJ died on Friday (April 20) at the age of 28, leaving behind a devastated fanbase and more than one collaboration with country artists.
"Hey Brother," a 2014 all-genre hit that featured Dan Tyminski, is his only song to chart on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, but he reached out to others. Zac Brown Band joined Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) for a song called "Broken Arrows" from his 2015 album Stories. A driving beat cradles Brown's reliable vocals for a pure love song that could have been recorded for any of the country group's more adventurous albums.
Listen to Avicii's "Broken Arrows" With Zac Brown Band
The song "Wake Me Up" is described as a mix of folk and electronica, but it's more of a stretch for country music audiences, even if it did hit No. 1 on several American charts and many more international charts. Lady Antebellum were paying attention. The trio included a cover of the song on tour in 2014 and 2015. Singer Aloe Blacc was the original vocalist.
Watch Lady Antebellum Perform Avicii's "Wake Me Up"
Working with Avicii got Tyminski thinking about future country music projects. He admits that while he had no idea what EDM music was prior to "Hey Brother," the experience opened his mind quite a bit, and that's reflected in his 2017 album Southern Gothic. While the Union Station singer's solo project did not crack country radio, it received warm critical praise and was celebrated for being among the most adventurous of that year.
Country music's definition continues to expand in a way that leaves us to believe that more than a few country singers, songwriters, musicians and producers will be grieving the loss of an influence on this day.
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