Hey Brother

Album: #TRUE (2013)
Charted: 2 16

Songfacts®:

  • As he did on the first single from #TRUE, "Wake Me Up," Avicii went with a Bluegrass sound on this track, inspired by music from the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

    Avicii tried six different singers before going with Dan Tyminski, who was the voice of The Soggy Bottom Boys from O Brother, and sang on their most popular song from the film, Man Of Constant Sorrow. Talking about the appeal of Bluegrass in Rolling Stone, Avicii said it was "credible and kind of cool in the sense that it's very melodic."
  • Avicii wrote this with the song's vocalist Dan Tyminski, along with his frequent collaborators, fellow Swedes Vincent Pontare and Ash Pournouri (who is also his manager).
  • The song's music video was directed by Jesse Sternbaum and shot in Bakersfield, California. The clip depicts two young brothers growing up in wartime America; the older boy is played by newcomer Zach Voss, and the younger boy by Jack Estes, who has also appeared in Modern Family. Avicii himself shows up for a cameo towards the video's conclusion.
  • The song was used in a TV advertisement for NJOY's "Friends Don't Let Friends Smoke" e-cigarette campaign. There are two variations of the commercial - the US edition of the ad features a squirrel at the beginning whilst the "European version" starts with a naked man.
  • Director Sternbaum tried to coax the artist into more screen time, but he refused. He also refused all of the stylist's clothing suggestions, including ditching his backwards cap and sneakers for a tweed jacket and cowboy boots.

Comments: 2

  • Mark Grant from Natchitoches, LaIt's a great song and I don't think anyone else other than Dan Tyminski could have done it justice. I was more than a little disappointed by the video though. The video wasn't shot poorly or anything like that. I've listened to this song a lot and to me it just didn't fit the song at all. My interpretation of the video tries to make this something of a patriotic song and me, being life-long Army and still deployed to the war (almost 10 solid years now) I just don’t see it as patriotic at all. The video in my mind's eye had to do with adults, maybe close friends maybe siblings but not kids; neither did I think it fit the death of their dad (I guess it was supposed to be their dad) in war. The video I pictured had to do with someone being there for a man and a woman (maybe his friends maybe his brother and sister) through thick and thin, good times and bad, no matter what. Now that I have seen the video and have gone back and listened to the song I stand by my opinion above. I love the song, the video……not so much.
  • Giovanna from New Alexandria, PaI love this COUNTRY song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Michael W. SmithSongwriter Interviews

Smith breaks down some of his worship tracks as well as his mainstream hits, including "I Will Be Here For You" and "A Place In This World."

Def Leppard QuizMusic Quiz

Can you name Def Leppard's only #1 hit in America? Get rocked with this adrenalized quiz.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.