Oliver Anthony Says The Last Thing He Wants Is ‘To Be A Cow At The Auction Block For Everybody To Bid On’ with New Album “Hymnal of a Troubled Man’s Mind” (Exclusive)

After making headlines with his breakout song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” country standout Oliver Anthony is continuing on his unconventional trek to stardom thanks to new music that stays true to who is really is.

The Virginia native differs from mainstream artists as he depicts stories of addiction, sobriety, suicide, mental health, unemployment and more, often resonating with listeners who are also going through the thick of it. He says he would rather “not have a career” than capitalize off of the industry.

“The last thing I wanted to do was be a cow at the auction block for everybody to bid on,” he tells Celeb Secrets reporter Brianna Vacca during a media session in Nashville last week (April 23). “I’d rather not have a career than feed those people. They rip the soul out of ‘em. They look at ‘em like a big dollar bill and they don’t give anybody anything. That was my thought process. I’ll just do it myself and just stay true to myself. If it doesn’t work out, then I still have it made. I still got to experience what I did. I am just thankful for every day I have doing it.”

Courtesy of the artist

Riding off the success and adamant about turning down record deal after record deal, Anthony independently delivered his 10-song debut assemblage full of previously released songs and spoken-word Gospel, Hymnal of A Troubled Man’s Mind, on Easter Sunday (March 31).

Hymnal of a Troubled Man’s Mind is the story of my life, from 2013 to 2023,” Lunsford, the voice behind Oliver Anthony, said in a statement. “It is intended for the listener to sit down in a quiet place, un distracted and just listen beginning to end. Every lyric, every note – every everything – is intentionally placed. This album represents the most pure and transparent view inside my heart and soul that I could offer.”

Not only does the collection introduce the last decade of the singer’s life, the project is “for the long game” and doesn’t care about obeying industry release standards, including not releasing the project on a usual Friday.

He says, “I told everybody I wanted to release this album on Easter Sunday ‘cause I felt like that was the day to release it based on the context of it. Everybody was like, ‘No, no, no, you gotta do it on Friday.’ Then a month and a half went by and then they were like, “Well Beyoncé is releasing hers on Friday… So you can’t even put it out on Good Friday ‘cause Beyoncé’s there.’ So I said, screw it. Let’s just release it on Sunday.”

Courtesy photo

The album enlisted the help of acclaimed producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile), and Anthony confessed that the process between the two, both personally and professionally, remained creatively pure and free as music should be.

“The best thing about working with Dave is that when we went to record those songs, he didn’t focus on the quality of it. He was more worried about the pureness of it,” he shares.

“When we sat down to record, I was just playing and it didn’t feel like we were even recording an album at all. Music’s one of those things that everybody has some version of music. Every culture, every country, music leads people to love and to war and everything else. Music and sound is interwoven in us in the same way that we breathe. If I’ve learned anything, is it’s this balancing act of music not becoming too commercialized, ’cause music can’t be a commodity. There has to be more freedom in music. It can’t be so algorithmic in the way it’s produced and released. It’s part of our existence and is contingent upon us having music.”

Courtesy of the artist

His biggest hope with Hymnal of a Troubled Man’s Mind? That people are still listening to it after the songsmith is long gone.

“Everybody’s so worried about making money, but nobody’s worried about their time. Time is the most valuable thing we have ‘cause we don’t even know how much of it we have. It’s the most precious thing. Every one of us in this room will be dead before you know it. So the coolest thing that you can do is leave something that’s there when it’s like a time capsule. I hope that the album will do and still be around when I’m gone,” Anthony spills.

Be sure to listen to Hymnal of a Troubled Man’s Mind below, and let us know what you think of the project by leaving a reaction below or by DM’ing us on Instagram at @celebsecretscountry.

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