Lady A Delivers Some of Their 'Most Vulnerable' Music Yet With Chapter 1 of 'What a Song Can Do'

Like many artists, Lady A's tour plans were scrapped last year due to the pandemic, so instead of hitting the road, the country trio spent their time reconnecting to their foundation as a band. That rediscovery led to their new project, What A Song Can Do, the first chapter of which was released on Friday, June 25. Consisting of seven songs, What A Song Can Do (Chapter 1) finds Lady A members Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood doing what they do best — telling relatable stories in beautiful three-part harmony.

"It's a continuation of what we really tried to step into on [2020's Ocean] of just going back to what feels the most authentic to us, the songs that we really gravitated towards and would say are kind of the pillars of who we are as a band from the very beginning," Scott told PopCulture.com and other media this week. "This album is a very present continuation of that with us working on music that was our way of coping with the world stopping. And everything we were going through as a band and just wanting to be really honest and stay true to what we do with harmonies and with what the content of these songs are about."

Kelley called the project "some of the most vulnerable music we've ever put out," pointing to "Talk of This Town," a track that's ostensibly about a breakup but also reflects the publicity the band is still receiving after changing its name and later filing a lawsuit against blues singer Anita White, who has been going by the stage name Lady A for decades. "I think after changing our name to Lady A and to feel how something got so twisted in our intentions, it was such a hard thing," Kelley admitted. "I never wanted to be in a conversation like this and you felt like you couldn't defend yourself or tell your side of the story."

"I think that was the hardest thing... just feeling like your intentions are misunderstood and that song, it was, how do you make that song not about our situation but relatable?" he continued. "When I listen to that song, it's like... I'm so sick of it being a topic of conversation and not about the music. I think that one is a very personal, in a very roundabout way, song and tough to write."

The project closes with "Worship What I Hate," which Scott described as "the hardest one to write, record, talk about." The song's first verse tackles physical insecurities and its second addresses staying in a situation you're mentally checked out of with an overall call to live more meaningfully.

"For me, this song is redemptive though in the fact that you've noticed and now you can change," Scott said. "That's the biggest piece that I want people to hear when they hear the song... ultimately, when you become cognizant of it, you can change it and I think that that's my hope is that anyone who hears it who feels a little bit like I do, a little bit icky, like, 'Oh man, that's really what I'm struggling with. But what can I do to change it,' and to focus more on who we can become instead of letting all of our energy go to the ways that we've not matched up or the things that don't serve us."

There's also title track, which celebrates the power of music, the group's recent female empowerment single "Like A Lady," the nostalgic and emotional "Things He Handed Down," "Fire," about persevering through difficult times, and the hopeful "Chance of Rain."This first chapter will be joined by another to make a complete album, and the band shared that they had written around 60 songs for the project.

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"We want to make this first chapter really personal about what we went through," Haywood explained. "We've been doing this 15 years, putting out records traditionally every time. I think we're looking for ways to just kind of mix it up and let the fans have different moments." You can stream What A Song Can Do (Chapter 1) here. Lady A will soon take the project on the road with their What A Song Can Do Tour, which begins in late July.