Well known as one half of Sugarland, Kristin Bush is preparing to show the country music audience his voice with his new album Southern Gravity. The album, produced by Tom Tapley with executive producer Byron Gallimore and set for release April 7th, contains twelve tracks all co-written by Bush. Already scoring a Top 20 hit with "Tralier Hitch," Bush took the time to speak about the album, including his excitement for the release, it's unique moments and more.
Congratulations on the album, which is just really fantastic. It seems like every track has the potential to be a radio single.
I love you for saying that (laughing)! I’m glad that you feel that way. I love being on the radio; I think it informs what I do, so [with this record] I was trying to make music that would be played on the radio, but I also tried to make music that I knew I would have to play in front of people for the first time knowing they never heard it before. I wanted songs that were as memorable as possible and very sing-able because I need people to sing them back to me by the second time the chorus comes around.
Having been in two duos, this is the first time we get to hear you at the forefront. Is it nervous, exciting or a bit of both?
The nervous part is hearing people’s reactions to figuring out that I can sing! Overall, I’d say it’s very exciting! I can’t wait for people to hear the album and react to it. I want to know what it makes them feel like because it makes me feel very happy.
It is most definitely a very happy, positive record with a great energy. Is that reflective of where you are personally?
Yes! It’s exactly where I am sitting. I’d hoped to put as much joy into this record as I could. It changes you when you play it and perform it every night. It does something to you that’s hard to explain. It might be a hokey way to say it, and without trying to make it sound like a self-help book, but the record is very healing.
How different was the process of making a solo album from your previous experiences?
It was a pretty similar process. The difference has been in the launch. I am able to talk with people without any preconceived notions; it’s just me talking with you. It feels like someone is talking with me at home about the music I am making rather than me playing the part of a rock star.
With Southern Gravity, you are writing for your voice as opposed to a female, which must be different for you.
Writing for a different voice was absolutely a different part of making this album. I write a lot, but with this record, it felt like waking up again. I do believe the discovery and struggle in this record was trying to find my voice. I’ve had my voice as a writer for a while, but the question was 'what is my voice as my voice (laughing), what does it sound like, what does it sound good doing and what does it not sound good doing?' It was like understanding what clothes look good on you.
You co-wrote all of the tracks with a variety of co-writers. Was there anyone that you wrote with for the first time?
Oh yeah, many people. As we finished that last Sugarland tour I asked myself if I really knew what I was doing. I wondered if my songs weren’t that good and I wanted to focus on how I could make them better. So the answer I came up with was to write with as many awesome writers as I could possibly could--depending on who would take my phone call (laughing). Aside from Tim Owens everyone else was someone I wrote with for the first time including Paul Overstreet and Bob DiPiero. With these guys, I just walked in the room and said show me what you do, I want to learn. I was very lucky.
Recently, Rolling Stone premiered “Light It Up,” which you said was unique for you because it was the first time you got to sing a love song directly from you. Are there any other of those unique moments on the record?
That was true what I said, that song is the first time that I have written a love song that people hear directly from me rather than being from the voice of a woman. I would say that another love song that is really interesting was one that I snuck on in the end called “Sending You A Sunset.” I noticed that when the sun sets at the beach everybody walks out all of a sudden like magic is going to happen; everyone shows up like it's church and is taking pictures. I paid attention to how many people were doing that and sharing the photos and thought it was amazing; it’s something so many people do and I really wanted to write a song about the way we want to compulsively share something with someone that you love who is far away from you.
“Walk Tall” is one of the highlights on the record. What is the story behind that song?
I wrote that song with my son in mind, which was also another unique moment, as I had never done that before. I got a phone call to ask if I would write for NeedToBreathe. I got together with Bear and Bo Rinehart, who are great singers, and we wrote the song together for them. However, I realized pretty quickly that I wanted to keep that song for myself, so it didn’t go on their record it went on mine. I love that song because of what it says: there is a certain level of integrity that you hope your kids pick up from you. I wish there was advice left for me from my dad and I wrote it thinking about if I could wish, what would I wish to tell Tucker in the future.
Why did you choose Southern Gravity, which is also a track on the record, for the title of the album?
For me, this record is bunch of post it notes that I’ve left around over the last year and a half of my life. Written on them were things like “it’s going to be ok,” and “it’s going to get better,” which are to me, reminders. Southern Gravity is a reminder that no matter how far away you are, you’re always pulled back to a home.
Finally, if you had to describe the album to someone in three words or less what would you say?
Country Music Joy
For more information visit his official website
Find him on Facebook
Follow him on Twitter
Order Southern Gravity here