Ears Wide Open: Billy Tibbals

Billy Tibbals

Through coming-of-age themes, Billy Tibbals, the rebellious, L.A.-based rocker, shares his experience with hard-life lessons and the range of emotions endured through youth. Born in London, Tibbals migrated across the pond to L.A. in 2014, and he’s been in love with music ever since.

Like many artists, Tibbals took advantage of the downtime COVID-19 spurred on the world. It wasn’t until then that he made the conscious decision to write more music. With a six-track EP on the horizon, it appears the fruits of his labor have paid off.

The upcoming full-length is called “Stay Teenage,” and it was produced by Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes). As the name suggests, it explores the growing pains associated with transitioning into a young adult and the natural reservations with leaning into change.

His new single, “Hurt So Bad,” released this week as a national tour with Mac Saturn winds down, revisits the glory of T. Rex, Sweet and “Hunky Dory”-era Bowie. It’s catchy and happy with notes of bittersweet young love dashed to the wind.

The album also features two of Tibbals’ previously released singles, “Best Day I Ever Had” and “Hollywood Baby.” The former recounts emotions of angst and frustration. “It goes through a series of emotions in a day out,” Tibbals says. “It starts out as the best day ever, then the best night of my life, and then the worst day I’ve ever had. That reflects the teen angst that sometimes happens during the course of one day – you can go from being on top of the world to feeling troubled, anxious and upset.” It’s a jangly tune that echoes the sounds of early 1960s pop and psychedelic rock. “Hollywood Baby” is also a sparkling ode to the glam era.

Tibbals may be early on in his music career but he shows sincere promise. “Stay Teenage,” is out April 21 via Silver Arrow Records.

||| Stream: “Hurt So Bad,” “Best Day I Ever Had” and “Hollywood Baby”