Sugarland fans are excited that the duo reunited, but perhaps no one is more excited than Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. The singers, who took a break after the release of The Incredible Machine in 2010, are learning how to work together again, especially after they spent so much time focusing on their own projects in the interim.
“It was comfortable because it’s someone you know. Then, it was exciting because the mystery of the years in between,” Bush tells Sounds Like Nashville of sitting down with Nettles to write their first single, "Still the Same." “She’s like, ‘How about we write about what we’re in the middle of?’ The song kind of unfolds as we asked each other questions in a row like, ‘Where do we start?’ Right here.”
Bush and Nettles famously reunited publicly at the 2017 CMA Awards, later that night announcing that they were officially back together. But, perhaps surprisingly, Bush and Nettles planned very little before their big announcement last fall.
“The only thing we did before the awards, we sat down and tried to write a song because that’s always what this band was. It was based on sitting down and writing songs,” Bush recalls of "Still the Same." “I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, we still got it.’”
Bigger, the new album that will be released on June 8, will give fans a more personal look into the friendship between Bush and Nettles, something they haven't really shown in any of their five previous studio albums.
“In a lot of ways, I think fans are able to hear into our relationship, which we never talk about much,” Bush explains. “It was just a given because you knew us long after we already knew each other, so hearing us navigate coming back together is actually in the song. I think that’s cool; it’s also the truth, so it’s very convenient.”
The second single from Bigger, "Babe," was just released, written by and featuring Taylor Swift.
"She reached out," Nettles recalled of Swift giving Sugarland the song. "We have obviously known each other for many years. When she was just getting started, we had just had our first little EP out called Premium Quality Tunes, and she still has a copy of it that we signed for her, whenever we played a couple shows together. And she was excited we were getting back together and reached out, and said, 'Hey, I have a song.' And that is a short list, ladies and gentleman, of people to whom she has said, 'Hey, I have a song. Wanna sing it?' So we said yes."
"We've never really put a song by anybody else on any of our records, so we weren't really used to sorting through that, and we didn't want to mess it up," added Bush. "So we didn't tell anybody about it, until we got finished. And she liked it, thank God. It is a good song."
Photo Credit: Instagram/sugarland