Lady Antebellum is returning to their country roots with their new album, Golden, out May 7, the band told USA Today backstage at Stagecoach Music Festival. The trio admits they tried to capitalize on the accidental crossover success they had with their Need You Now album when they released their most recent project, Own The Night.
“We had a door open that we weren’t really planning on opening with pop radio on Need You Now,” Charles Kelley said. “So, let’s be honest. We wanted to see if there was a chance we could get back on it. We went into the third record thinking that could be a possibility.”
“We started to play radio and marketing, and ‘This will work here’ and ‘This will work there,’ and that’s never been great for us,” Dave Haywood agreed.
“There was so much tug and pull and so much opportunity that you wanted to go out and chase it, and it was the most stressed out I’ve ever been in my life,” Charles continued. “I don’t think we were really able to appreciate it until afterward.”
When it came time to record Golden, the band went back to how things used to be. They sat in a room together, writing songs and listening to submissions from outside the band. The album leads off with “Get To Me,” a song submitted by Hillary Scott and James T. Slater more than three years ago. Lost in the shuffle then, the song turned out to be the perfect track to lead off Golden.
“It’s definitely a place where I’ve been in my life where you’re just really missing the person you love,” Hillary Scott said. “Some of my biggest influences as a female vocalist are Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood, and I truly listened to this song and thought, ‘How would Trisha Yearwood sing this song?’ And I really put myself in the song. I wanted to get that emotion out because it is such a relatable subject matter.”
The band ultimately settled on the name Golden for the project because it reflects where they are in life. All three are married, Hillary with a baby on the way, and are now able to enjoy their success while using their career to give back through their new organization, LadyAID. They’re also back to focusing on the audience that heard their music first.
“We feel loyal to the country market,” Charles said. “I don’t know how well we would fit in between Bruno Mars and Phoenix. It’s so funny. We think maybe we’re not the country-est thing in the world until we’ve played some shows with pop artists. Then it’s like, ‘Yep. We are definitely really country.’ So we feel comfortable in this genre and we want to be loyal to the genre.”