Dustin Lynch Celebrates The Single Life and Embraces Vulnerability In His New Album, ‘Killed The Cowboy’

“It’s been quite the therapy session to make the album,” Lynch admits to Country Now.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

September 29, 2023


1:35 pm

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Dustin Lynch; Photo Courtesy of Homestead Music

Dustin Lynch’s brand-new album, Killed The Cowboy, takes listeners on a vulnerable journey as he openly learns to navigate through the ups and downs of love, heartbreak, and all the pressures of dating. 

Throughout the 12-song track list, the country superstar not only explores his own internal battles as a single 38-year-old, but he also creates a space that celebrates those who can relate to his current stage of life. Instead of keeping his story locked up, Lynch decided this project would be the perfect opportunity to allow himself to be more open about his personal life with fans than ever before.

“Really Proud” Of The Project

“I just figured, you know what? I’m tired of talking to myself about this. Let’s write and create an album, a piece of art around that,” Lynch told Country Now. “I figured if I came out with an album like that, it would be something that they would really gravitate towards and I’m really proud with how it did.”

By leaning into his songwriting with his heart on a deeper level, Lynch has opened up the conversation surrounding the pressures to settle down. Even though he may feel slightly out of place next to his peers, Lynch is embracing his own path and enjoying his freedom to explore life on his own. Luckily, his supportive fanbase has proved that he’s not alone in this uncertainty.

“Quite The Therapy Session”

“It’s been quite the therapy session to make the album and now to talk about and promote it,” he continued. “I feel like I don’t have all the answers yet, but I’m definitely putting it out there and it’s amazing how many folks are out there that are in my same position. It’s great to feel that I’m not alone.”

Especially being in the country music world, finding that special person and building that “picture-perfect” life together is highly talked about and praised. Lynch admits it can be daunting to not have that same narrative to share and because of that, he’s chosen to bring good spirits to the stage for all his fans, but especially those who are single through many of his party anthems. 

Dustin Lynch; Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC
Dustin Lynch; Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC

With his latest project, he explores plenty of the upbeat tunes including “Honky Tonk Heartbreaker” and “George Strait Jr,” while also sharing deep explorations of his emotions on songs like “Only Girl In This Town” and “Blue Lights.”

Pressure To Settle Down

“There’s definitely pressure. I mean, our genre, especially when it comes to events, you see the guys and girls that are settled down, have kids. There’s a lot of spotlight put on those relationships and country music fans love our personal lives, they love being invested in that. I think that chapter of life and that pathway is easy for a fan base to grasp onto because it’s a lot of what our fans are living themselves.”

He continued, “You know, nobody’s really lifted up the single people and I think as the years go on, it seems like I’m not the only one. I’ve noticed it seems like people are waiting a little bit longer in life to move into a serious committed relationship and I’m just kind of embracing that and figuring out that there’s a lot of people in my boat that are out there. I’m hoping that some of these songs help them realize that and they want to come out to the show and celebrate with us.”

Fans got an early taste of the project through a few advanced releases including the title track, “Killed The Cowboy” and “Chevrolet,” in which Lynch teamed up with his labelmate Jelly Roll to put a fresh, countrified twist on Dobie Gray’s signature track, “Drift Away.”

When choosing a title to sum up the entire collection, Lynch said he felt as though “Killed The Cowboy” most accurately described how he’s been feeling lately as well as his experiences that make up the album.

“I’ve been beating myself up to death, just trying to figure out, am I okay? Because I’m a single guy and at this point in my life, I have a lot of friends that are making country music for a living that have wives and kids, and it seems like they got it all figured out. And I’m just making sure that I’m providing opportunity for me to be my best version of myself and I’m very happy,” he shared honestly. “I’ve realized through this process that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m very comfortable with who I am as a writer and artist, where I’m at with providing for myself and my family back at home. Now it’s like, okay, what’s next? And what’s next is I need a date to award shows. That’s what’s next,” he said jokingly, although serious about his goal. 

“Killed The Cowboy”

YouTube video

After pouring out heart and putting his life on display through a variety of tunes that showcase Dustin Lynch’s powerhouse vocals and captivating abilities an entertainer, he completes the album with “Long Way Home.” Penned by Lynch with Kyle Fishman, Andy Albert, this song intentionally leaves the listener on a high note as he sets the tone for a perfect night in the country with the person you love. 

“It felt like we ended on a positive note, which I love,” Lynch shared. “I don’t want to end an album on some sort of crazy, sad breakup thing. It’s just a classic tip of the hat, really, to my heroes,” he explained. “When we were writing that song, I just had the dance halls and dance floors and two steppers in mind. I love that that world still exists…This song for me is about enjoying a night out on the town with your girl and dinner and a dance hall and maybe a show, going to country bars and then taking back roads on the way home. It’s still just the picture-perfect night for me. I still love doing that whenever I get the chance and that’s why I kind of was like, okay, this feels great. It just felt like a nice peaceful way to close this chapter.”

“Long Way Home”

YouTube video

The 12-track project out September 19 features an impressive lineup of songwriters, including Dallas Davidson, Josh Thompson, Ashley Gorley, Zach Crowell, and Dustin Lynch who co-wrote five of the tracks. Killed The Cowboy also serves as a follow-up to his 2022 project, Blue in the Sky, which spawned his current Top 10-and-rising single, “Stars Like Confetti.”

Upcoming Tour

This song has continued to be a crowd-pleaser throughout Dustin Lynch’s most recent time on the road, dubbed the Party Mode Tour. Now he’s ready to bring even more energy and a whole new crop of songs to the stage with his just-announced Killed the Cowboy Tour.

“I’ve got a handful of songs that I already know will make the setlist, which is already jammed packed full with success stories,” he teased before adding, “Subconsciously when I was making this album, I wanted to have some emotional moments and have some passion on stage, some new moments of passion on stage. So we definitely have pulled that off but also going to continue to build on the fact that our shows are parties. They’re huge parties and fun. We’re bringing a bunch of single people together, we’re bringing a bunch of hot date nights together, whether it’s a lifelong fling or if it’s just the first date, we’re there to provide a great atmosphere for some memory-making and fun.”

The 2024 trek will open with a show in Nashville, TN on April 2 and from there, Dustin Lynch will visit cities across the country including Raleigh, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Boston, and more. He will wrap up the 18-date run on May 11 in Council Bluffs, IA. 

Tickets for the Killed the Cowboy Tour go on sale on album release day (Sept. 29) at 10 a.m. (local) at DustinLynchMusic.com.  Starting at 10 a.m. (local) tomorrow (9/22), Stay Country Club members will receive an exclusive presale, allowing them the first opportunity to purchase tickets here.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.