Hootie & the Blowfish Blend Genres With Latest 'Imperfect Circle' Album (Exclusive)

Hootie & the Blowfish just dropped their first studio album in 14 years, with Imperfect Circle. The record, out on Friday, Nov. 1, is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a whole lot of unique sounds that make Hootie & the Blowfish one of the most iconic bands in music.

"One of the things I love most about this album is how we were able to explore a bunch of different influences, but still have it all sound like Hootie," guitarist Mark Bryan told PopCulture.com. "'Turn It Up' has this low-country, island feel to it that we've never done before, 'Not Tonight' started with a very rhythmic, Jackson Five type vibe, 'Rollin'' is a big Southern rock song, 'Change' is a slower ballad that closes out the record - but all of these different sounds come together on the album in a really cool way where they all still sound like us and make sense for us as a band."

It's been 25 years since Hootie & the Blowfish, fronted by Grand Ole Opry member Darius Rucker, released their debut Cracked Rear View, so it made sense to the group, which also includes Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld, to return with a new record, in honor of the milestone anniversary.

"2019 being the 25th anniversary of Cracked Rear View seemed like a good time to shoot for, so that lined up nicely for us too," Bryan shared with PopCulture.com and other media. "We had something to celebrate when we toured...so it was kind of cool."

Something to celebrate, but not something Rucker believed would actually work. When the four guys started talking about another tour, which just wrapped up with a series of shows in the UK, and another project, it was Rucker who held the dissenting vote, at least at first.

"I said in no uncertain terms that I just did not think this was going to work," Rucker recalled with a laugh. "It was shocking to me...this was the biggest tour we've ever done. And there was a moment in our life where we were the biggest band in the world! And this is the biggest we've ever done. That was crazy!"

Surprisingly – or not – once they got into the studio and on stage together, everything fell in place like they had never left in the first place.

"Once Darius starts singing and we get our parts in place, it sounds like us," Bryan said. "We're not necessarily concerned about what genre our songs end up in ...We just enjoy making the music."

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Imperfect Circle includes songs by penned by both Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton, with Sheryl Crow lending her vocals in the background for several tracks. Order the record on the band's website.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of EB Media/Todd & Chris Owyoung