It's here, Lady Antebellum fans! Their long-awaited seventh studio album, Ocean, is out. The honest 13-track record marks a new chapter for the trio, made up of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood, who decided to hold nothing back on their current set of tunes.
"The times where you push through the awkward or the pain or the discomfort and communicate honestly, whether it be in songwriting or whether it be in a conversation with each other or someone we love it's always worth it," Scott told PopCulture.com and other media, speaking about songs on Ocean. "You always feel better on the other side of it. You always feel more understood and seen and known and valued. At least we've learned to do that. We've learned to communicate."
"We have way more honest conversation," added Kelley. "We were always close. But I would say that was definitely like 'Let's keep it fun, let's keep it surface.' Now our conversations are always really deep."
Lady A made the conscious decision to be vulnerable with the songs on Ocean, a lesson they first learned in their personal lives, especially after the release of their previous Heart Break, out in 2017.
"I think with experience within my marriage, within our working relationship together, it's like I've never regretted being vulnerable," Scott noted. "Doesn't mean there's not pain, doesn't mean there's not so much to get past or to work through, but I have never once regretted feeling or choosing to be vulnerable."
The title track is one Lady Antebellum didn't write, but as soon as they heard it, they knew they not only wanted to record it, but wanted to make it the cornerstone of the project.
"When we, so we were sent 'Ocean,' I listened to it nonstop and it was the last song we recorded for the record," Scott recalled. "I was a nervous wreck, like I could have thrown up. I was so nervous just because it's a really difficult song to sing, just technically difficult. But then also with that and the vulnerability and rawness of the lyric, you're very exposed in every way, and especially because it's just a piano vocal basically.
"There are a few more instruments in the cello that rounded all out, but it's very, very exposed," she added. "And so I had a lot of insecurity around recording it if I'm being fully transparent, just because I wanted to do it justice."
Ocean marks Lady Antebellum's first release on Big Machine, after spending most of their career at Capitol Records, their first label home. The switch was just part of a transformation for all of the band members, which they shared via the tracks on Ocean.
"We've had an interesting journey the past couple of years for sure," Kelley noted. "A lot of life changes and personal struggles and growth that we've gone through. We thought the sound of this record needed to kind of reflect that. There's definitely a lot of introspective, heavy at times, topics. The whole record's not depressing, I swear. But it's almost in a weird way, they're heavy songs, but they're, I think, refreshing in their honesty, hopefully, and relatable to people. We just wanted to sound as warm as we could."
Order Ocean at LadyAntebellum.com.
Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Diamond