Society has created unrealistic expectations that your twenties are meant to be the “best years of your life.” While many may believe that’s true, several others encounter a few bumps in the road before they find themselves or come to peace that the universe always has a plan in store. Country music powerhouse, Carly Pearce has experienced this first hand and made it her mission to deliver an emotional-driven record that normalizes the harsh reality of growing older and creating the life you desire.
While grieving the loss of her longtime producer Busbee and her divorce from Michael Ray, the award-winning artist put pen to paper to channel her internal emotions. Back in February, Pearce gave fans a taste of her pain and recent obstacles with her seven-track collection, 29. Now, the inspiring musician is moving on to the next chapter in her life by acknowledging that everything happens for a reason with the full-length record, 29: Written In Stone.
“I think that when something bad happens in your life, you immediately go, ‘why am I going through this?’ I didn’t really quite know why I was going through that until somewhere during the release of the first half and seeing the reaction of fans,” says the hitmaker about 29. “I have such a richer relationship with fans now because I feel like they are able to humanize me through my experiences and something that I never wanted to be a part of my story – which is being a young person that is divorced. I am proud to put a face and be a public figure that can now maybe humanize that and not make it scary. I am putting my pain to purpose for other people, and I would go through it all again,” she adds.
As Pearce proves to her fans that her soul is healing and there is a hopeful future ahead with these eight new tracks, she also takes a musical risk by returning to her traditional country roots. The nudge to utilize instruments like the mandolin and lap steel guitar comes from producers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
“I’m so grateful to my late producer Busbee in so many ways, but I think that he ultimately was never going to understand this type of country music that I wanted to make because he just didn’t grow up the way that I did and the way that Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne did,” reveals Pearce about the creative process behind the project.
“So, I feel like finding them in this pivotal moment for me was so crucial because it allowed me to spread my country wings as far out. Life is funny…life throws you some curveballs, and I certainly was thrown a curveball, and I just dove into music.”
Her subtle shift to her now ‘80s and ‘90s country-inspired sound captured the attention of Icon Patty Loveless. The night that Pearce got inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, she stood within the legendary wooden circle and sang her recently released single “Dear Miss Loretta.” A tribute tune that shines a light on her wide vocal range and bluegrass twang.
Little did she know, Loveless was watching from home via the Opry Livestream. Following the memorable evening, Pearce invited the “Blame It on Your Heart” songstress to sing on her 29: Written In Stone record. At first, Loveless denied her kind request because the song she pitched didn’t “feel right.” However, the famed musician sparked the idea to collaborate on her “Dear Miss Loretta” track, as the remarkable performance moved her.
“I had asked her actually to sing on a different song on the record, and she was like ‘I don’t think that’s the right one for me, but you debuted the song at the Opry about Loretta, can I sing on that? I was like, you can sing on anything you want,” says Pearce while reminiscing on the pinch-me moment conversation. “She actually recorded it with her husband in Georgia. When we got the part back, she had sung way more than I ever thought in a million years she would, and it was the greatest thing I have ever heard in my life.”
She continued to share with Country Now and other reporters what it was like to have Loveless on her transformative album. “I think it is a milestone to have somebody that has influenced me from the time I was a little girl. We talked on the phone a lot, which is super fun, and she’s just been so kind to share her heart in a lot of different areas and how things were when she was in my position and the way that she handled them,” Pearce revealed about their blossoming mentor-like relationship.
Pearce told Country Now reporter, Tiffany Goldstein that she could always depend on Trisha Yearwood and Jeannie Seely as well for guidance and to advocate for her music. “I would say those are the three that I feel have just really put their hearts in what I’m doing and have invested in me as a person. I feel really lucky to have three of those women, and I truly feel like I could call them whenever I need advice about anything. I have done this, and they answer,” she concludes.
Though the rising star depends on the women who have come before her to help navigate life and the country music space, she understands that she is now that person for young females who are climbing through obstacles or looking to break into the industry. “I guess I am one of them,” she laughs after realizing the full-circle moment. “It just so funny to think of myself like that, but I feel so honored. I hope that little girls that are writing at home right now can see that anything is possible. I certainly hope they don’t go through 29, but I hope that it at least shows them that you can stand in your truth and stand confidently in whatever life gives you, be okay with that and accept it.”
As the vulnerable collection continues to receive praise from fans worldwide for her heavy and relatable lyrics, Pearce confessed that she is now excited to have the Kacey Musgraves post-divorce LP, star-crossed to play when she feels alone.
“They filed for divorce right after I did, so I understood what she was going through. We’re very similar in age, and we have a very similar approach as far as how we approach writing songs. I was excited to have an album come out that I could listen to and probably feel not alone musically. So, when the little trailer came out for star-crossed, my mouth was on the floor…I think I watched it five times in a row. I was just blown away by how two artists going through similar situations had such different approaches visually and musically. I’m obsessed with everything that she’s doing right now. I think that’s the beauty of art, our artistic expression,” she shares about her musical escape.
To touch the hearts of her loyal fans, the breakthrough artist will be taking her album out on the road this fall. The 29 Tour is expected to kick-start November, 4 at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, IA. Fans can expect the recently nominated CMA artist to keep the shows intimate, as she believes it will pair well with her acoustic-driven melodies. Tickets to see the trailblazer are now available here.