By Annie Reuter
Before Lady Antebellum began working on their follow-up to 2014’s 747 , the country trio took a much needed creative break from each other. While Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley worked on their own individual projects, Dave Haywood acted as producer for country act Post Monroe. It was this newfound freedom and creativity that laid the groundwork for their sixth studio album, Heart Break, due out June 9.
The beginning stages of Heart Break had the trio renting a house in Florida where they lived and worked under the same roof with some of Nashville’s best songwriters. With several songs under their belt, they decided to book another writing retreat in California to keep the creative juices flowing.
“When we started working on this record, the goal was to give ourselves some space from the day to day,” Scott explains. “Surrounding ourselves in a new environment with sunny beaches and warm weather really helped free our minds to focus solely on our art. We took some of our favorite writers and other writers we hadn’t worked with before to a new inspiring backdrop, where we were able to just write and soak up the journey. And it was on our first trip in Florida when we wrote ‘Heart Break’ that we felt it all click.”
Lead single “You Look Good” showcases this musical rebirth with a memorable horn arrangement and dance floor beats. Another song, “Hurt,” highlights Scott’s impressive vocals over a striking string arrangement. The trio also enlisted the help of producer and songwriter busbee, who pushed their sound to new territory.
“Being together every day, living in a house together, that was the special ingredient this time,” Haywood adds. “And then in the studio, busbee added a whole new layer. He’s such an integral part of this new chapter for us.”
Lady Antebellum co-wrote 11 of the 13 songs featured on Heart Break. As a result, the band says the record is their most intimate and heartfelt project to date. Songs like “Army” embody a ‘70s pop feel while Kelley and Haywood sing of how their wives are their support system.
“This record is really our story,” Kelley concedes. “They have a universal feel to them, but there’s a lot of our personal stories here.”
Lady Antebellum will be taking their new album on the road as they embark on their You Look Good World Tour which hits more than 65 shows in six countries, including South Africa for the first time.