Morgan Evans' freshman album, Things That We Drink To, is out! The 11-track record, co-written entirely by Evans, was released on Friday, Oct. 12.
"It's very exciting and nerve-wracking to have a full album going out," Evans shared with PopCulture.com. "But I hear people say all the time they have their whole life to write their first album, but this one's definitely the last two or two and a half years of my life. And, I feel like I've lived a whole life in that time."
"I've found a new home over here on the other side of the world, and I met the girl [Kelsea Ballerini], and got married," he continued. "Getting to travel around and see so much of America for the first time. And I also, I also lost someone really close to me last year that had been in my life for the last 10 years. So it was a lot of life. And I feel like I've just sort of told that story through, through these 11 songs."
The debut single from Things That We Drink To is "Kiss Somebody," which became Evans' first No. 1 hit.
"It's such a big deal," Evans boasted of the tune, which he wrote with Chris DeStefano and Josh Osborne. "It's one thing to just say No. 1, or to see it on a chart or something like that but, I've been on the road all year opening up for Chris Young and Kane Brown and then through the summer I did all the festivals and now we're back on the road doing the Losing Sleep Tour. And I've been able to feel every week what it means to be whatever position you are in the chart."
"All this year the crowds all over America are singing louder and louder every week," continued the singer. "That week when it finally hit the top spot, it was an incredible feeling and definitely the first time in my career, maybe even life that I've been able to stop and just really take it in."
Having a chart-topping single wasn't just validation for Evans, but for everyone who has supported him and believed in him.
"When a song goes No. 1, it's an incredible accomplishment for everyone that I work with and for the people that I wrote the song we recorded the song with," Evans said. "I'm rewarded every night when I get to play it."
The title track was inspired by the loss of Evans' longtime manager, Rob Potts, who was tragically killed last year.
"He passed away so suddenly," the 33-year-old recounted. "He was in a motorcycle accident. So, it was a horrible time and that day, I guess we could have just been like, 'I don't want to write today' and gone home but, Chris started playing this beat and I started singing that melody, and the words 'things that we drink to' came out of my mouth."
"It feels as much like a celebration of life – everything we got to do together and everything we did, because he was around, as much as it is about missing someone and mourning someone," he added. "And, I think he would've dug it like that. So, I remember that day we wrote that, soon as we finished it I was like, 'Well, that's gonna be on the record for sure."
Another one of Evans' favorite tracks is "Dance With Me," which was inspired by Ballerini, who also sings on the tune.
"I think 'Dance With Me' is my favorite one," confessed the singer. "Similarly to 'Things That We Drink To,' it was just such a pure moment in such a pure representation of a moment. It was a couple of months after Kelsea and I first met and we were dating, and it was a Tuesday morning. It wasn't like a planned writing session or a planned studio day or anything. It was just me sitting on a lounge in my apartment watching a TV."
"She was about to come and perform on a morning TV show, and I was just playing guitar and singing, and that whole first verse chorus just came out like 20, 25 minutes," added Evans. "I wrote it all down. We finished the song that afternoon, and we pretty much recorded the whole record that afternoon as well. And there's something about when it happens just so naturally like that, it feels really honest."
Between working on his debut record and celebrating his first No. 1 hit, and spending time on the road, it's been a big year for Evans, but he is already ready to do more.
"There are always things," noted Evans. "The first time you get to play the Opry, the first time you did play the Ryman, and the first time you get to play Bridgestone. And I guess there's other venues like that, but at the end of the day, I really hope people love this record. I've put everything that I have into it, and these songs, and I really hope that means that I get to go and keep playing more music, and writing more music for the next one. Further than that, I'll be a happy guy."0comments
Purchase Things That We Drink To at MorganEvansMusic.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Erika Goldring