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Artist Biography For Tyler Burkhart

Growing up on a Mount Joy farm, Tyler Burkhart found inspiration in the wide open fields of his backyard. He especially admired the purity of those untouched expanses after a snowfall. “It was nice just to be able to see out across this landscape and have just kind of a spiritual awareness of how small you are,” Burkhart says. At the same time, he realized how much impact his environment was having on him. Now nostalgic for his time on the farm, Burkhart often uses those memories to make music. Despite an impressive repertoire — 20 albums uploaded to his Bandcamp page since 2012 — Burkhart didn’t begin writing music seriously until he was in his early 20s. Graduating from Hempfield High School in 2007, he took a year off to figure out his next move. He attended HACC sporadically before studying social work at Millersville University, where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During this transitional period, Burkhart wrote music, using a microphone his brother Clark gave him. He had played piano and guitar throughout his youth, hobbies encouraged by his musically inclined parents. “I think it was just kind of a way to find my voice and figure out a little more about who I was as a person,” Burkhart says. While he is not on the farm anymore, his environment is still of utmost importance to how he creates. Burkhart self-records all of his music in his Lancaster city bedroom. And he embraces what others may perceive as imperfections when they seep into his recordings. “I love music that sounds honest,” Burkhart says. “I like when I hear a song and I can hear a door shutting or something in the background. It feels like you’re in the room with that person, and they’re sharing this with you.” Burkhart’s music is often described as lo-fi dream pop. He often utilizes his experience from years of classical guitar lessons with Lancaster instructor Rob Perlis. “He was very gentle and introspective and creative,” Perlis says of his student. “When I was listening to some of his songs, I can hear a lot of those influences: classical influences, and we touched on open string voicings,” Perlis says. Burkhart says he goes back and forth between instruments and styles when creating music. “I have a heart for classical music and softer acoustic music, but I also enjoy putting together the full band stuff,” Burkhart says. Burkhart began performing his music with a full band in the summer of 2015. Now, his band consists of his brother Clark Burkhart on drums and friends Anthony Galati and Derek Riley on bass and guitar, respectively. Interest in Burkhart’s music picked up after an unknown YouTube user uploaded “Just How I Love You,” a song from his September album, “Marianne.” The video has more than 94,000 plays. “That was wild,” Burkhart says. “I started getting emails from people in other countries too, and that just, like, that was really moving to me, that people could connect to just the stuff that I was sharing.” Burkhart worked with U.K. label Hail Hail Records to release cassette tapes overseas. But, he’s deeply appreciative of the music community in his own backyard. “It’s a very independent kind of community, and it’s tightknit,” Burkhart says. Burkhart frequently works on new music, dedicating two to six hours every week to improving his craft when he’s not on the job as a case worker. “I’ve always experienced life through the lens of music,” Burkhart says. “So now, to be able to contribute to that world and write from a personal place and then to hear that people can relate to it — that’s something that I really value.” tylerburkhart.bandcamp.com/

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