Brett Young says his fans won’t have to wait all that much longer for a full-length new album.
“We made a decision to go ahead and make the full-length record, and I think it’s realistic for end of this year or January of next year, that we’ll just have a full project out,” the singer hinted during a recent virtual media event.
Young says he originally thought about putting out an EP of new music earlier in 2020, but ultimately decided against it. Instead, he released a new single, “Lady,” a powerful message of love and devotion to his infant daughter and wife. Now, the country star explains that he decided to scrap plans for an EP project because he didn’t want “Lady” to overshadow another, as-yet-unreleased, single.
“I have another ballad that was gonna go on the EP, that might have gotten overlooked,” he points out. “Because “Lady” is a ballad, and that’s the first one off the project.”
Ultimately, Young says that he simply wanted to find a way for all of his material to have its moment in the spotlight, because he’s so excited about each of the songs on his upcoming batch.
“Without saying too much … I have so many songs on this project that are different for me that I’m excited about, and I want them all to have a chance to be a single off this record,” he shares. “I felt like putting an EP out might have kind of swept the first four under the rug, and got everybody excited about the back half of the record. And there’s songs on the front half that I’m excited about.
“… But we should have a full-length record December or January, if everything goes smoothly,” Young confirms.
It’s no wonder that Young wants every one of his new songs to its own moment in the limelight: The singer says his new music will showcase his growth as an artist in a couple of different ways, and he’s proud of that. For example, his longtime fans can attest to the fact that the singer is most at home when he’s writing ballads, and while that’s still true, he says he made a conscious effort to push himself into more uptempo territory this time around.
“Sonically, [we tried] to do some things that were a little bit outside the box for me. Because I know I have kind of lived in that ballad world, kind of selfishly … I know fans are still turning that on in the car, but you know, for radio, you know that you need to change it up,” he notes. “We’ve definitely kind of pushed that line a little bit, as well. So sonically, there’s some things you haven’t heard.”
Still, fans of his slower stuff won’t be disappointed, either. In fact, the singer remembers a specific pre-pandemic writing retreat in Florida, where he and four other co-writers delved deep into ballad territory.
“The guys all went out on the balcony to take a break, and I started playing an old worship song that I have always loved called “I Can Only Imagine,”” the singer recalls. “I was playing it just because it was a reminder of these old chords that are known as worship chords, and that’s where music started for me.”
The slow, familiar sound brought him back to the feeling that made him fall in love with music in the first place. “I was like, ‘You know what my problem is, the reason I write too many ballads is because this is my favorite stuff,'” he says. “Like, ‘I love this. This is already making me feel something again.'”
Young decided to try to capture the feeling of that old music he loved, but reconfigure it in such a way that it could become a modern radio hit.
“I started playing the chords to this song, but muted and chunky and kind of groovy. And one of the writers, Jimmy Robbins, walked in, and he goes, ‘Whatever that is, we’re writing that,'” he continues.
“If I had to bet, that’s probably going to be my next radio single — it’s uptempo, and it’s fun, and it’s still a love song,” Young adds. “I’m just trying to go, ‘Where would you naturally go, Brett?’ And change it a little bit. Do something different. It takes me out of my comfort zone, but I like that, because of the challenge. It’s been fun, and you’re gonna see it a handful of times on this next record.”
Of course, there’s one other major change to Young’s life sine the last time he put out new music: He’s now a father to a baby girl, Presley. His family life will make a big appearance in the singer’s next musical chapter, as evidenced by “Lady,” the first song of his next batch to come out. But that’s just the beginning of what’s to come in terms of putting out music about family and fatherhood.
“This record’s important to me because it represents this stage in my life,” he muses. “I didn’t go into this thinking I had any idea about how to raise a child, let alone a little girl. But that’s what I’m in the middle of now, and I watched that coloring my songwriting and affecting my songwriting.”
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