A Grammy Award-winning, hit-making machine, Lady Antebellum is moving full-speed ahead to deliver its next record before singer Hillary Scott delivers her first baby. But no matter how long they stay on track, this Nashville trio will avoid covering the same ground.
The country group known for lush harmonies and multi-platinum ballads such as “Need You Now” is going back to the basics with its fourth studio album, Golden, which will be released May 7 on Capitol Nashville.
Some details still need to be finalized, but Charles Kelley, the lanky lead male singer and band co-founder with Scott (who is due to give birth in July) and Dave Haywood, said there will be 11 or 12 songs. Among them is the title track the three wrote with friend and label-mate Eric Pasley over a bottle a wine in a cozy library room at Kelley’s house.
“It’s actually the last song we wrote for the record,” Kelley said over the phone Saturday from San Antonio, where the band was looking forward to playing for the fifth year on a revolving stage before a rodeo crowd of about 30,000.
“And we just thought the title represented the record as a whole and kind of where we are as a band,” Kelley added. “This nice little sweet spot as a band, and kind of getting, honestly, back to how we started with the songwriting together — the three of us in a room.”
So while several aspects of the record-making process remain the same (Paul Worley once again produced with Lady Antebellum at the Warner/Chappell studios where they made the three previous albums), Kelley said they didn’t want to repeat themselves musically this time around.
Expect a more uptempo, “roll-down-your-window type of record” that’s kind of a throwback which, Kelley promised, is “a little more organic and less polished.”
He said the group consciously decided to take the next logical step forward by, oddly enough, going in the opposite direction. This return to their roots will include material that was influenced by Crosby, Stills and Nash, ’70s bands and Southern rock anthems. So maybe for the first time on a Lady Antebellum record, no orchestral strings will be heard.