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Oliver Anthony releases debut album ‘Hymnal Of A Troubled Man’s Mind’

Oliver Anthony, the US singer-songwriter who went viral with his song ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ last year, has released his debut album.

  • READ MORE: Who is viral ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ singer Oliver Anthony and why is he controversial?

The country-folk artist dropped ‘Hymnal Of A Troubled Man’s Mind’ independently on Easter Sunday (March 31) which features previously released songs interspersed with spoken-word Gospel passages.

Alongside tracks like ‘I’ve Got to Get Sober’ and ‘Doggonit’ is one new song called ‘Momma’s Been Hurting’.

The artist collaborated with Dave Cobb on the production side of things, while instrumental arrangements were recorded in “a once-vibrant-but-now-decaying church in Savannah, Georgia,” per a press release.

In a statement (per Consequence) the artist – real name Christopher Anthony Lunsford – shared: “’Hymnal Of A Troubled Man’s Mind’ is the story of my life, from 2013 until 2023. It is intended for the listener to sit down in a quiet place, undistracted, and just listen beginning to end. Every lyric, every note – every everything – is intentionally placed.”

He continued: “This album represents the most pure and transparent view inside my heart and soul that I could offer. While ‘Richmond’ was the song that got my name out in the public, this release will be the true foundation that I build my monstrous catalog of new songs to come off of.”

Elaborating in a post on social media, the artist said he felt “compelled” to release the album on Easter Sunday because of “the grace that has been afforded to us by Jesus as he took on the entire sin of the world as a payment for us and our inequities”.

“This is an album for you, the people,” he added.

Anthony shot to fame last year when a video of him performing his song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ went viral.

The song made chart history by debuting at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Anthony the first artist to do so without any prior chart history.

However it also sparked controversy due to its lyrics. While some praised it as a working class anthem for the downtrodden, others criticised it for being “fatphobic”, while some labelled it a “right-wing anthem”.

One lyrics sees Anthony punch down on the “obese milkin’ welfare“, singing that that “if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds / Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds.”

The artist – a former factory worker and farmer – came out to say that left-wingers “misunderstood my words”, while at the same time criticised Republicans for “weaponising” the meaning behind the lyrics.

He also said the debate around the song was “really funny to watch”.

Anthony has since received praise from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and performed with Papa Roach and Shinedown.

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