It’s only been six weeks since Carly Pearce dropped her newest EP, 29, but the singer says she’s already made significant headway on her next album.
“I feel like I’ve already written the next one. I think it’s done. Which is crazy,” the singer revealed in a recent virtual press event.
Part of the reason why she’s done so much writing for her next album, Pearce goes on to explain, is because only certain kinds of songs fit on 29. That project is a concept album centered around the singer’s difficult and transformative year as a 29-year-old. It was the year that she married fellow country star Michael Ray, and the year that she realized their relationship wasn’t going to work, ultimately filing for divorce during the summer of 2020.
It was also the year that Pearce had to grapple with the loss of her producer, Busbee, who co-wrote her 2017 breakout single, “Every Little Thing,” and has worked closely with the singer in the years since. Busbee died in September of 2019 after a short battle with brain cancer, and his death was an immense loss to Nashville’s music industry, and Pearce’s career.
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29 also revolves around Pearce’s sharpening of her musical identity, particularly her commitment to a traditional country sound and the kinship she feels with powerful female performers that came before her, such as Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless and Tammy Wynette. Those influences play out in much of Pearce’s songwriting for 29, particularly in its anthemic leading single, “Next Girl.”
Pearce made 29 as a concept album, and as such, she had to pare the tracklist down to songs that spoke to those three thematic bullet points. That meant setting aside a number of songs that didn’t fit, and the singer hopes those songs will feature on a future project not too far in the future.
“We kinda had to pick and choose things,” she acknowledges. “And also, quite frankly, a lot of things have happened in the last three months that I’ve written that just didn’t feel like they fit in this [project.]”
29 represents a pivotal year in Pearce’s life: One that needs its own moment in the spotlight. “I just had to get all this out. Let the elephant in the room live. And then we’re on to good things,” the singer goes on to say. “Like, this is kinda part one. So I feel like there’s a part two.”