Ty Herndon has always been all about the ties that bind. You feel it when he’s singing deeply moving No. 1 hits like “What Mattered Most” and “Living in a Moment.” You get it just as much when he’s goofing around with the audience between songs in concert making every attendee laugh. Even in a genre that already prides itself on relatability, he might be the king of connecting.
Now, with the release of Lies I Told Myself, his first country album in seven years, he’s bonding with fans in a new way. Herndon invited folks to be direct participants in the album launch via a well-publicized Kickstarter campaign that made fans investors in the record… financially and, more critically, emotionally. His devotees came through by more than doubling the goal laid out at the outset. The love that goes both ways here, between performer and audience? It’s no lie.
Lies I Told Myself stays true to the styles that made Herndon one of the top new artists of the mid and late 1990′s. There are some wrinkles and updates, as you’d hope. “I’m staying true to who I am and what I’m about as a singer,” says Herndon, “but also reinventing a little bit with sounds in the studio being current with what’s relevant on the radio today.”
Some may feel there’s a gap in the growth they’ve been able to see with Herndon, since Lies I Told Myself is his first country album in seven years and only the second album of all-new country material he’s released since 1999. There was an assumption that he might have crossed over into the contemporary Christian market when he released the highly lauded Journey On in 2010, which garnered a Grammy nomination and Dove award win. These accolades put an exclamation point on a story of personal redemption that once seemed unlikely, given the well-known addiction issues that had played havoc with his career from the mid-‘90s on up through a successful stint in rehab in 2004. Herndon’s experiences affect his interpretation of the title song “Lies I Told Myself” — which is also the album’s first single — even though the lyrics aren’t specific to substance abuse.
For Herndon, “Addiction has cost me a lot in my life. And because of addiction, I told myself a lot of things that weren’t true. And in recovery, I have seen absolutely the light of the truth. But I don’t know that I really consider this song a recovery song. I just consider it a song of truth.”
“I’ve had to deal with getting my life together,” he says, “so that I can be the artist that I am today” — an artist that’s even stronger and truer than the one who recorded “What Mattered Most,” you might agree after hearing the new album.