Lauren Alaina Gets A Fresh Start As She Returns To Her Roots In Forthcoming EP, ‘Unlocked’

“This is just the beginning,” the singer shared.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

June 1, 2023

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Lauren Alaina; Photo by Robby Klein

Lauren Alaina is stepping into a new chapter as she announces her upcoming EP, Unlocked. Set to drop on June 9, this six-song collection marks her first release since signing to Big Loud Records.

Spreading the news through a minute-and-four-second teaser via social media, Alaina reveals a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this unapologetically honest set of work. The clip features the singer/songwriter setting the tone through a series of footage from her time in the studio with diamond-certified producer Joey Moi.

Her caption read, “Sometimes you have to look all the way back to really move forward. My heart is completely Unlocked with this new project. This is just the beginning. 🔐”

Alaina broke out into the country music scene in 2011 after earning second place on the singing competition show, American Idol. Since her days as a young artist searching for her place in the industry, she’s gained “a million different nicknames,” “worn a lot of different hats,” and “been a lot of things to a lot of people.” However, underneath it all, she’s still the girl from the small town of Rossville, Georgia, with a strong devotion to her loved ones and her music. 

This project serves as a reintroduction to the world as she unlocks a whole new level of herself both personally and professionally, while going deeper than she’s ever done before. 

“It’s been 13 years since we first met, and until a couple of years ago, I don’t know that I ever slowed down for more than a day or two at a time,” Alaina reflected in a press release. “I spent more time with the people that matter most to me – my family, my fiancé, my friends – during that period than I had in years. This music comes from my heart and my hometown. I am who I am because of where and who I come from, and I’m more me today than I’ve ever been. I can’t wait to unlock this next chapter with you.”

Created by an assembly of Nashville talents, the six-track tacks on cuts by artists Cole Swindell, Ella Langley, and Luke Bryan, mainstay hit makers Josh Osborne, Parker Welling, and Hunter Phelps, and upstart newcomers Emily Landis, Rocky Block, John Byron, and Lydia Vaughan among others. It also features a cheeky duet with fellow female songstress, and friend, Lainey Wilson.

The 28-year-old is sharing the first taste of the EP by dropping a brand-new set of featured tracks, “A Walk in the Bar,” and “Hangovers.”

Earlier this year, Alaina previewed a few of her forthcoming releases at Live in the Vineyard Goes Country. Among the three songs she played was “A Walk in the Bar,” the feisty breakup anthem that Alaina co-wrote with Lydia Vaughan, Casey Brown and Parker Welling.

When speaking about the track, she pointed out that the title “Sounds like a caption I would write on Instagram.”

Lauren Alaina; Photo by LITV/JETBLACK/Ryan Waneka
Lauren Alaina; Photo by LITV/JETBLACK/Ryan Waneka

During her visit to wine country, the “Road Less Traveled” singer also explained that she feels this EP is her best yet.

“I’m always really proud of my music and I always feel like I say the new project’s the best project, but this one’s just really different and refreshing and feels like it represents me as a woman and a new sound just in general,” she told Country Now at Live in the Vineyard Goes Country.

The singer then added that her new sound is “a whole lot more country” than her previous releases. 

Lauren Alaina; Photo by Robby Klein
Lauren Alaina; Photo by Robby Klein

Unlocked comes hot on the heels of 2021’s Sitting Pretty On Top Of The World, which spawned fan favorites like “Getting Good” and “Getting Over Him” with Jon Pardi. 

Lauren Alaina will get to showcase her fresh chapter live on stage throughout the summer. She has several fairs and festivals on the books before joining the North American leg of Pentatonix’s World Tour. 

Click HERE to view a complete list of her upcoming tour dates. 

Lauren Alaina; Unlocked EP
Lauren Alaina; Unlocked EP

UNLOCKED TRACKLIST

  1. A Walk In The Bar (Lauren Alaina, Casey Brown, Lydia Vaughan, Parker Welling)
  2. Hangovers (John Byron, Greylan James, Josh Osborne, Matt Roy)
  3. Don’t Judge A Woman (Autumn McEntire, Joybeth Taylor, Sarah Allison Turner)
  4. Smaller The Town (Zach Crowell, Joel Hutsell, Cole Swindell, Hunter Phelps)
  5. Like Her (Trannie Anderson, Joe Fox, Emily Landis, Ella Langley)
  6. Thicc As Thieves (feat. Lainey Wilson) (Lauren Alaina, Rocky Block, Luke Bryan, Dallas Davidson, Jacob Durrett, Parker Welling)

All songs produced by Joey Moi

 

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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.