Carly Pearce may have just released her sophomore album, but the rising star says she already has plans to move on from her self-titled project with a brand new single.
Just days before her split with Michael Ray went public, Pearce sat down for a virtual media event to celebrate her second chart-topping single, “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” During her chat with Country Now and other media, Pearce teased that new music is on the way after she found herself “extremely creative” during quarantine. She also opened up about how this time off the road has allowed her to grieve her longtime collaborator and producer, Busbee, who unexpectedly passed away last year.
“I think that this pandemic has given me also just time to grieve him, if that makes sense and kind of grieve, not let go of him, but also understand that I have to move on,” she explained. “And I feel like, in a weird way, God has given me doors. I’ve always been somebody that believes God will open doors that you’re supposed to walk through.”
With no tour dates on the books for several months due to the coronavirus outbreak, Pearce unexpectedly found herself with a lot to write about and let her creative juices flow.
“I oddly just started to feel a rush of emotions of things that I felt like I wanted to say,” she explained. “Going through a lot of personal growth during this time and felt like I was hanging on to Busbee and had to kind of deal with that in its own time. It felt like it was jolted and sped up for me. We had some hard conversations of, do we continue on with this music or do we do something new? All of a sudden, I felt so creative and so much at peace. I felt like I had a lot to say that I didn’t know was in me. And maybe that’s because as an artist, not that you become a character, but you certainly go into autopilot of what you do every day.
“When I was making my second record, I would fly home to do laundry, to pack up, to leave by midnight, but then I’d have a write in there somewhere,” she continued. “My head would just be somewhere else. And so this time I’ve just had time for the first time since I got a record deal to just write.”
With “I Hope You’re Happy Now” ending its reign at radio after hitting No.1, Pearce says her next single will be brand new.
“I think a lot of people would be shocked that my next single will be completely new music. Not off of that album,” she shared. “I’ve been lucky to feel like I found what is meant to be my next step through this. And I feel competent in that and I know that he [Busbee] always wanted me to fly. He knew that I struggled with true confidence and was always just a little bit shy and a little unsure. And I feel like with these two records and with this time, I’m just ready to fly and, and show him that I can do it without him.”
Though she remained tight-lipped about what’s to come, Pearce acknowledged that she believes her most successful singles are her most honest. Out of her four singles released to country radio, the two that she co-wrote are the ones that hit No.1. She says she’s going to “remember that” when it comes to selecting her next radio release.
“I feel lucky that people seem to like the truth for me. They seem to like not trying to put on an act. It’s very hard for me in songs to put an act on,” she confessed. “It’s very hard for me to sugarcoat what I go through. And I think that vulnerability in your music, all of my favorite female artists and all my favorite artists have always done it that way. I just feel like it continues to remind me who I am in the format. And it continues to remind me what people want from me. And honestly, it’s been healing in both songs and in just the ride that I’ve had in the last few years of hearing how other people have gone through exactly what I have.”
As she moves forward to her next musical chapter, Pearce says she plans to embrace the throwback country sound that fans seem to want from her.
“All I can tell you is I have so much peace and excitement,” she said of her new music. “I will tell you this. ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now’ solidified [it] for me. And I think re-reminded people that I want to be the modern country artist, a throwback kind of vintagey thing that becomes progressive and I’m going to lean hard into that.”
Pearce’s self-titled sophomore album, featuring her previous singles “Closer To You” and “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” was released February 14, 2020.