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photo credit: McKenzie Whitman / click for hi-res version


EP artwork / click for hi-res version

WYATT FLORES

HALF LIFE

Wyatt Flores crafts the kinds of songs you can listen to crossing state lines on the way to a new beginning. They’d resonate just as much played out of an old jukebox as they do over an open-hearted social media post or from a dimly lit arena stage. He lets out regret through his unfiltered delivery, while hope buoys naked guitar chords even in the face of life’s most turbulent storms. This stark honesty has cemented the Mexican-American Oklahoma-born and -bred troubadour as one of country’s music most vital voices with nearly half-a-billion streams, sold out shows at legendary venues such as Ryman Auditorium, and acclaim from Rolling Stone, Billboard, and many more.

This songcraft also defines his 2024 EP, Half Life [Island Records].

Growing up immersed in music, he learned guitar as a kid. He gave college a shot, spending a trimester at OSU before leaving in the midst of the Global Pandemic. He doubled down on his dream though. During a day job on a ranch, he even scrawled out tune ideas in the tractor. After dropping “Travelin’ Kid,” he captivated audiences via The Hutson Sessions EP highlighted by “Please Don’t Go,” which gathered 80 million-plus Spotify streams and scaled the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. Among other standouts, “Losing Sleep” reeled in north of 25 million Spotify streams. Signing to Island Records, he capped off 2023 with the Life Lessons EP. Upon arrival, Billboard touted the title track among “8 Must-Hear New Country Songs,” while Holler. christened him an “alt-country prodigy.” Meanwhile, Rolling Stone chronicled how “he went from playing a sold-out show at Nashville club the Basement East in August to booking two nights at the Ryman Auditorium in December [supporting Charles Wesley Godwin].

Fittingly, he kickstarted 2024 by making his acclaimed debut at The Grand Ole Opry. Of the latter, The Tennessean claimed, “Wyatt Flores’ empathetic heart, soul shine.”

It’s gone from absolutely nothing to everything,” he grins. “It’s all gas, no brakes.”

In the meantime, he assembled what would become Half Life. The second original single released ahead of the project, “Wish I Could Stay,” tempers shaky slide guitar with bright piano. Lyrically, he wrangles with anxiety, fear, and love all at once as he confesses, “Here in your arms, I feel so alive. I’ve never been so scared to die…I wish I could stay.” An off-kilter guitar solo wails above the beat.

Elsewhere, soft acoustic guitar backs his emotionally charged intonation on “Devil.” Holding nothing back, he exhales, “You cut me so deep and don’t even hang around to watch me bleed.” Then, there’s “I Believe In God.” He struggles with nihilism and faith on the hard-hitting hook, “I believe in God, but he don’t believe in me.” The title track “Half Life” layers fiddle atop a delicate piano melody. He waxes nostalgic to set the scene, “Thinking about grandpa, thinking about home.”

When the journey got to be a little too much in 2024, Wyatt wisely put the brakes on everything in order to focus on his mental health. He postponed an entire tour and bravely spoke on his need to tend to his well-being. This choice would be met with widespread understanding from fans and country music culture as he furthered a crucial conversation that has gone unspoken all too often in the genre.

Beyond hundreds of thousands of “likes” and countless comments of support, American Songwriter praised how “Refreshingly, though, his openness doesn’t stop with his pen. It’s incredibly important for young men to see someone like him focus on being mentally healthy.” Whiskey Riff echoed the sentiment, “I think I can speak for all country music fans when I say that what he’s doing is very mature, and it’s only right to get things in order before he gets back out there…The country music world is a better place with him as a part of it.”

Upon his return, this conversation will no doubt continue. Ultimately, Wyatt Flores is making the kind of country music you can listen to now and forever.

I’m only getting one chance at life, so I try to be present,” he leaves off. “There’s more to existence than what the average person experiences. No matter how old or young you are, life is here and gone. Death is always riding in the passenger seat. You can either be friends with it or make it an enemy. I choose to be friends with it. If you know that and start questioning what you’re doing, maybe you’ll go out and live a better life.

For more information, please contact Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.

Erika Clark at Island Records.

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