To understand how Brett Eldredge approached the making of his new album, songs about youyou have to look back sunday walkhis latest album, released in 2020. sunday walk found Eldredge at his most vulnerable: both sonically and emotionally, he dove headlong into new territory on this record, and the response to the record proved to him that he was on the right track.
“I’ve gone further than ever,” Eldredge tells Taste of Country, “so for sunday walk to take off in such a way that people were so deeply connected to it…it gave me a lot of confidence to be able to develop that, into what would now be this record.”
“Trust” and “vulnerability” are two words that Eldredge uses a lot when talking about songs about you. He followed his inner compass throughout the making of the album, so much so that in early 2022, when he thought the album was done, he decided to return to the bedroom of the album. writer, just to see if there was anything better and deeper he could include in the tracklist.
“I was just like, ‘I want to try to take it a little further and see if I can beat all of this,'” he recalled. “And I ended up beating the whole album in, like, two months.”
That means he closed out 2021 with a batch of album-only songs; after the first two months of 2022, almost the entire track listing had been replaced with new material. “Want That Back” was a keeper of the original list, as was “Where the Light Meets the Sea”, a song Eldredge actually wrote five years ago for sunday walkbut ultimately eliminated from this album.
But much of the record has been reinvented, Eldredge says, to reflect his increasingly self-confident mindset of daring experimentalism. For example, in early 2022, he was fresh off his annual Christmas tour and the album cycle of his latest holiday record, 2021’s Mr Christmas. With this material fresh in his mind, he realized he wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the chic, big band musical motifs that fit so well into his vacation plans. He wondered if he could find a way to marry some of that style with the country vibes the singer-songwriter informed of his non-party material, and the result was songs about youThe album opener, “Can’t Keep Up”.
“‘Can’t Keep Up’ has amazing horn arrangements that are a bit New Orleans. It feels like you’re walking through the French Quarter in some ways. And I actually had the same guy who fixed my Shine and Mr Christmas the records do the horns for that,” Eldredge says. “…Having a huge horn section on this record changed the energy in general, I guess. It just brought a whole new level of excitement to the song.”
The horns are not necessarily omnipresent on songs about you – “There are three songs with horn arrangements on this record, I believe”, notes Eldredge – but they add character and color to the whole project, and if he has the opportunity to work with a live horn section, the singer says he’d take the opportunity to throw horns at some of his songs that haven’t historically featured them — even older stuff.
“I mean, I could put horns on ‘Don’t Ya’,” he theorizes. “There’s a lot of ways I could go back to some of my stuff and reimagine it. Because even during the time my music was first released, that kind of music has been a big part of who I am. , and that sort of matches the arrogance of some of this stuff.”
Does this mean that the horn section will join Eldredge when he leaves on his songs about you Touring this summer?
“You know, if we’re blowing this thing up like I think we can, I’d love to bring some in,” the singer replies with a laugh. “It’s a whole different bus! And a lot of things. But I think this record is going to do a good job, so it might end up being a thing. I’d love that.”
Sonic experimentation is just one element of the vulnerability Eldredge gained access to while recording this recording; another is the richness of the roster of love songs, especially songs that are perhaps a bit sexier than anything the singer has released before. Eldredge points to “What Else You Got”, which he says is a step more sultry than any of his previous love songs.
“There have been songs that have been intimate, but never directly sexy, where it’s you and that person and you can feel the layers,” he recounts, adding that he has bonded with the songs of love on his new record in a way he’s never had to songs he’s put on in the past.
“I’m not necessarily in love, but the idea is something I’m open to for the first time, I think, ever,” says Eldredge. “I’m very open to sharing this journey with someone, someone who sees the good in me and I see the good in him.”
This shift in mindset allowed Eldredge to be more specific and personal with his love ballads.
“[It] allowed me to be a little more vulnerable with love songs, other than a simple love song that feels good or a sexy love song that’s intimate and goes a bit more into the stuff steamy – whatever. I’m not afraid to say these things! It’s a beautiful thing,” he continues. “It’s a deeper dive into the love song than I’ve certainly ever come close to touching.”
He ends the album with an equally intimate track in a very different way: “Where the Light Meets the Sea”, the only song on the five-year-old album, which he wrote in California while creating his sunday walk album. Eldredge says he decided not to include “Where the Light Meets the Sea” on this record because he was afraid it might compete with the title track and not end up getting the spotlight he wanted it to be. ‘he has.
“It’s heavy in a good way,” Eldredge says of the song, a piano meditation on the possibility of death – and a prayer for a peaceful transition to the next stage or chapter, wherever that may be. either, after our passage on Earth is over.
Prior to the release of the record, when the singer played the songs for people on his label or team, his executive office would always dim the lights in his listening room when “Where the Light Meets the Sea” appeared.
“Because people almost always cry when they hear it,” Eldredge says. “It addresses the inevitability that we’re not all here forever, and you know, we’re all looking to take that somewhere else.
“Really, we’re all looking for heaven, and I think it’s a search for yourself,” he continues after a pause. “It’s a search for the place where the light meets the sea, to always want to go there and look for that. The human aspect of that is so interesting to me, and that’s something that we all go through. I just think it’s so relatable. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.”
songs about you arrives Friday (June 17.) Eldredge’s songs about you The tour kicks off Sunday, June 19 with a stop in Wheaton, Illinois, before kicking off in earnest on July 22.
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