It’s been almost three years since Brett Eldredge released his self-titled LP. On his 2017 project, he sang about his relationship with his brother, love gone wrong, and anxiety getting the best of him. It was his most vulnerable collection of work yet. That is, until now. After his album cycle was over, he took some time to find himself. After a lot of soul searching and traveling around the world, Eldredge ended up back home in Chicago, IL, where his fifth LP Sunday Drive (out July 10th) was born. Today, April 17th, three tracks off the album became available for fans everywhere.
The lead single is the nostalgic, wistful, poppy piano-driven “Gabrielle”. It’s the track most similar to his previous work. Written by Eldredge, Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian, it talks about a lost love that you still can’t shake from your memory. “[The relationship] could’ve ended up being something amazing and you wonder what they’re doing in life right now,” Eldredge said in a press release. On a song like “Crowd My Mind”, co-written with Ross Copperman, you hear a new-found detail and personality in the lyrics. “So broke, you could see through me/Wouldn’t know me if you knew me/Been eight months since November/But you’re all I can remember,” he sings heartily on the second verse. There’s a clear influence of Frank Sinatra on both songs, and there’s something about the new music that sounds somewhat reminiscent of Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers, with the big choruses and storytelling verses.
“I think you have to give yourself permission to do anything in life, to be brave a little bit,” Eldredge says. “I got to a certain point where I was doing something in repetition and it was all really good… but I felt like I wasn’t giving enough of myself. It took a lot of self-awareness to finally realize that if I do really have a lot more in me, then I’ve got to step up and I’ve got to take that step off the edge. And I think enough time of doing it the same way made me realize it’s time to do it big.”
The self-reflection that Eldredge is describing pours throughout each song, most notably on Track 1 of Sunday Drive. “Where the Heart Is”, written by Eldredge, Jessie Jo Dillon, and Tyler Johnson is a mid-tempo singer/songwriter cut about finding the heart of life and the heart inside all of us. “Where’d you lose your sense of wonder? / The firework goin’ off in your head / ’Cause there was a time we weren’t thinkin’, we were flyin’ / We were alive / I wanna feel alive.” It’s the type of song one sinks into, it’s so honest. There is something cathartic about the more-true-than-ever words, Eldredge’s soaring voice and Tashian and Fitchuk’s driving production.
Eldredge’s new sound is a lot more singer-songwriter and rootsy, in partial to his soul-searching and his pairing with Tashian and Fitchuk, who are responsible for Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour and Little Big Town’s Nightfall. Together, the three created a sound that is the perfect mix of mainstream country and triple-a singer/songwriter. Lyrically and sonically, this is Eldredge at his best.
If this is the record that Brett Eldredge hopes to find himself on, then so far he is succeeding. If these three songs seem to be an indication of what the remaining project is like, fans are in for an authentic ride through his life. Eldredge wants to feel alive: and this era has him more alive and more himself than ever.
“Gabrielle”, “Crowd My Mind” and “Where the Heart Is” are now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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