NASHVILLE, TN. – Uncaging his sophomore albumthe mockingbird & THE CROW for the world today via Big Loud Records/Big Loud Rock, HARDY is embarking on a chapter that can only be described as “country-meets-hardcore chaos” (Alternative Press).
The “stylistically unpredictable” (Billboard) shapeshifter carves a lane all his own across 17 original tracks, proving himself a trailblazer undefined by genre constructs, focused on crafting a catalog of hits that have become notorious for eliciting strong reactions.
“I would love for people to be as taken aback as possible,” HARDY told SPIN in a profile earlier this week that encapsulates his “country-rock rebellion.” “I would love for people to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster…The highest expectation I could have is to make people relate to a song, really feel something, and maybe get through some sort of trauma or anything like that because of it,” he continued. “That’s my shit, man. That’s what I do it for.”
Collaborating with both a rolodex of Nashville’s finest songwriters (Hillary Lindsey, David Garcia, Ashley Gorley, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jordan Schmidt, Brett Tyler, Hunter Phelps, and more) and some of his own rock favourites on the double-sided project, HARDY steps into the fullness of his artistic aspirations, merging the lifestyle he grew up living in rural Philadelphia, Miss. with the music he grew up listening to: Soundgarden, Puddle of Mudd, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Matchbox 20, and many more.
“I am extremely excited to have this record out,” HARDY beams. “I truly believe that this is two years of my best writing and think that it perfectly describes who I am as an artist, having grown up listening to rock ‘n roll, but also grown-up country. Thank you to everyone for the support and everybody for working so hard on bringing this record to life. I hope everyone enjoys it.”
EARLY PRAISE FOR HARDY’S the mockingbird & THE CROW
“…one of the most audacious, ambitious and downright disruptive albums that Nashville has ever birthed.” – Entertainment Focus
“HARDY’s back and flipping the script with his own rock record, the mockingbird & THE CROW…Early singles ‘JACK,’ ‘TRUCK BED,’ and the title track, all released in 2022, show the influence of Nirvana and post-grunge songcraft alongside his distinctive, rhythmic lyrical delivery.” – Grammy.com
“This is not Michael Hardy the kid with a publishing deal, but HARDY the artist, determined to tell his truth his way, to embrace all the music that’s pumping through his veins.” – HITS
“It’s been a long time since I’ve said, ‘this artist is going to change the face of current rock.’ In fact, it was just over 30 years ago after I first played a song called ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ from Nirvana…who is this artist Lloyd believes is leading the pack? His name is HARDY.” – LA Lloyd, Rock 30 Countdown
“HARDY’s new conceptual album is armed with a front-end full of airtight country hooks (like the Wallen-featuring “Red”) and a B-side that’s pure rock-fueled adrenaline…” – SPIN
“The important thing to note here is this foray into rock music isn’t forced nor is a fake performance to try and sell records. Instead, it’s about leaning into the type of music that had him hooked in the first place.” – Substream Magazine
“…his most personally revelatory release to date.” – The Tennessean
“HARDY isn’t afraid to find the gray within difficult topics – see his murder ballad ‘wait in the truck’ – and ‘JACK’ is a prime example of his developing craftsmanship.” – TIME
Giving the album’s title track the official music video treatment today, “the mockingbird & THE CROW” springs to life in a five-minute Claymation trip, playing out the song’s Jekyll and Hyde nature in a neon jungle with a miniature HARDY at the center. Directed and animated by UK-based visionary Lee Hardcastle with featured assistance from David Daniels and created after over 500 hours of work between them, watch the out-of-the-box video here.
On deck, HARDY takes his already acclaimed album bi-coastal with two televised performances in New York – playing “wait in the truck” with reigning CMA New Artist of the Year and Female Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (25/1) and “screen” on NBC’s TODAY (26/1) – and a one night only album release event across two iconic Los Angeles country and rock venues on January 23rd. His sold-out US headline the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour launches Feb. 16th in Indianapolis, Ind.
HARDY has never shied away from a grey area, and on the mockingbird & THE CROW that grey area glows, weaving artistic truth with gutsy, undaunted choices. In a cover story on stands this week, HITS Magazine sums it up simply; “HARDY’s more profound risk-taking comes in the musical choices he’s making.”
Big Loud Records’ heavy-hitter HARDY has never been just one thing. Uncaging his next chapter now, HARDY introduces the mockingbird & THE CROW, his dichotomous, 17-track sophomore album and the follow up to critically acclaimed 2020 debut, A ROCK. HARDY is the reigning ACM Songwriter of the Year, the 2022 BMI Country Songwriter of the Year, and a two-time AIMP Songwriter of the Year, additionally nominated for New Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Musical Event of the Year at the 2022 CMA Awards. One of CRS’ 2021 New Faces of Country Music and a two-time CMA Triple Play award recipient, the pride of Philadelphia, Miss. has earned his reputation as “a breakout in the making,” (HITS) and “a promising purveyor of keeping the spirit of classic heavy Southern rock alive” (American Songwriter). HARDY has written 12 #1 singles since 2018, including his own double platinum #1 single “ONE BEER” feat. Lauren Alaina + Devin Dawson, and chart-topping Dierks Bentley + BRELAND collaboration, “Beers On Me.” He’s previously toured with Thomas Rhett, Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Cole Swindell, and more, and will launch his sold-out US headlining the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour in February.