Despite what some may think, Tyler James Johnson has never thought of himself as an “artist.”
The folk-Americana songsmith from Victoria, British Columbia says, “I have never really considered myself a songwriter or really a true musician. More of a guy who just likes to play guitar.”
In his recently released EP, Songs For Everyone, Johnson showcases his versatile musicianship, expanding across genres and blending in his own life experience.
Having previously released his EP Tyler James in 2021 and full-length album, Second Fiddle, in 2022 in collaboration with Josh Miszczak, Johnson evolves his style in Songs For Everyone and proves just that: everyone can find themselves in his music.
“By the Time I Get to Nashville” opens the EP in soulful anthemic style, equipped with smooth steel guitar and resonating vocals. Johnson sings, “By the time I get to Nashville I’ll forget them petty things / By the time I get to Nashville I’ll be alright.” The tune is 90s country-inspired with a dash of retro soul, and Johnson states, “When we walked in the studio that day, we barely had an arrangement, just a couple of ideas.” This opening track is a breath of fresh air, effortlessly inviting the listeners into what’s to come on the record.
The near-titular track, “A Song for Everyone,” solidifies Johnson’s message, as the song focuses on his message of inclusivity. The singer sees the world as one on this track, joining together people from all walks of life to indulge in his all-encompassing songwriting. The steel guitar meshes well with Johnson’s vocals to make his emotional claim: “We want to be heard / We want something to say.”
The EP ends with the smokey love song, “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire,” which brims with passionate instrumentals and Johnson’s classic blend of soul and folk rock. Inspired by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” Johnson wrote the duet as a blend of differing perspectives in a toxic relationship. With vibrant vocals from his friend and collaborator Jennifer Croden, this song ends the EP on an ignited note.
Johnson showcases his unique and ranged artistry (yes, artistry) in Songs For Everyone, shining a light on his skilled songwriting and fervent musicianship. If this EP is any indication, Johnson is indeed a tried and true 21st Century Americana musician, as he makes it his mission to write music that all people can relate to and resonate with.
Johnson is a frequent performer in his Victoria, BC area, focusing on sharing his musical endeavors and connecting with his local audience.