All those Olympic athletes at the Winter Games in Vancouver are working their butts off going for the gold. Sugarland has already done its Olympic duty, contributing a new song called “Wide Open” to the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack, but the duo hasn’t gone to Canada to be part of the big event. Instead, Jennifer Nettles has spent gobs of time on her mother’s couch “with a bag of kettle corn,” she told The Wall Street Journal.
Have no doubt: Sugarland was completely immersed in the drama of the Games when she and Kristian Bush wrote “Wide Open.”
“We had a lot of dialogue about what it must be like to be an Olympian,” she said. “We allowed the verses to be the moments when you’re just about to compete — you’re on the platform of the ski jump and you have worked your entire life to get there with years and years of training and what must that feel like in that moment? And the choruses are a super-big release of when you’re celebrating and the joy of what it is you love to do most and do best. So we really explored those two different moments — right before the go and right after the go.”
Click here to watch the video for “Wide Open.” It’s the first clip in Sugarland’s video channel.
“Wide Open” isn’t the only specialty project they’ve been involved in. Sugarland took part in recording the new version of “We Are The World” — Jennifer harmonizes with Josh Groban during the first verse — but the duo has even more recording on its schedule. Jennifer and Kristian are at work on their fourth album.
“It might be its own Olympic sport,” she said of the creative process. “It feels like a combination of bungee jumping and eating chocolate cake all at the same time. It is both terrifying and extremely gratifying in the same moment — terrifying in that as artists and writers we are constantly pushing ourselves to grow.”
They may be experiencing some tension with their record company. She alluded to some behind-the-scenes “resistance” to the direction they’re taking.
“They want things to sound the same because they know how to market that,” Jennifer said. “But that’s their job and problem. Ours is to make the best record we can and serve the songs as best we can, and that is extremely gratifying.”
For now, the duo has plenty of time to iron out the project. Sugarland has no tour dates on its schedule until the end of April.