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Interview: Carly Pearce discusses her new album, busbee and her plans to come back to the UK

The singer-songwriter opens up about her excellent new record.

Carly Pearce
Credit: John Shearer

Country singer-songwriter Carly Pearce released her second album on Friday.

The follow-up to her breakout debut Every Little Thing, released in 2017, the self-titled album has hit the ground running thanks to the hit singles Closer To You and I Hope You’re Happy Now with Lee Brice. You can read our full review of the album to find out what we thought.

I caught up with Carly on release day to talk about the record, discuss the bittersweet release following producer/songwriter busbee’s death, and to find out when she’s coming back to the UK.

Hi, Carly. How are you?

Good, how are you?

I’m good, thank you. I can’t believe it’s nearly a year since we chatted before C2C. It’s great to be catching up again but sadly I can’t give you wine this time…

I’m sad (laughs)

…but I can say Happy Album Release Day!

Thank you so much!

How are you feeling to finally have the new album out in the world?

I feel so relieved (laughs) and very excited and just excited for this next chapter.

I didn’t know how you were going to top your debut but this record is another level. It’s made me feel all of the emotions. Tell me how you brought it all together…

Ooo! Thank you! I have had a lot of things happen to me in the last two years and went into this album just wanting it to be extremely personal and a showcase of that. I feel like you’re hearing the good, the bad and just all of the experiences rolled into one that I’ve figured out in my life.

Carly PearceOn this album you really do take the listener through so many key moments from your life but every song is relatable. Halfway Home is my favourite at the moment. It’s such an emotional song. What’s the story behind that one?

That’s the most vulnerable song I think I have written ever. I had to write that one before I wrote I Hope You’re Happy Now and it’s about those first moments of feeling really guilty for hurting that person. I just wanted to really be vulnerable and tell that part.

You really push your vocal in that one as well. Hearing your upper range is so powerful. Was it important for you to show even more of what you can do on this record?

Yeah, I wanted to push myself vocally and take my voice places that maybe that I hadn’t been before and challenge myself, and just try to top the first one.

There’s a duet with your husband Michael Ray on this record, congratulations on getting married…

Thank you!

Michael was talking to me about the track in October when he was here in the UK. What was it like working in the studio with him on Finish Your Sentences?

It was so fun to get to collaborate with somebody that you love. Obviously I’ve never done that before and just to be able to have a song finally now that is ours, feels really good.

Your voices go so well together that I’m really hoping for a duets album in the future. Is that something that might be on the cards?

We definitely will do more collaborations for sure. This is the first of many.

What’s your favourite song on the new record?

I’d say Halfway Home or It Won’t Always Be Like This just because I feel like those two are so vulnerable, so real and such my story.

What was the hardest song for you to write on this record?

Definitely Halfway Home.

Have you managed to perform the song live yet?

I actually just did and it was hard, but I made it through the first time so I feel like I can do it again now.

This album is going to sound so fantastic live. When can your UK fans expect to see you back over here for a tour?

I hope so much, and think, that I will be back next year for sure.

Are we thinking headline tour?

Not sure yet but I promise I’ll be there.

Carly Pearce

Credit: John Shearer

We’ll be there with wine, of course…

Yes! Please!!

You worked with busbee on this record, who unfortunately passed away last year. Does that make the release a little bittersweet or are you just feeling proud to continue his incredible legacy?

Um, it’s definitely bittersweet. This is the last full project that he made, and that’s hard. I don’t really know music without him so it’s definitely a little bittersweet for me.

What a fantastic album to be the final album he turned in…

Oh, I’m really proud of it. I know that he really was excited about it and felt it was going to really elevate my career the way that I wanted it to.

On this album we also get to see your playful side, which we definitely saw onstage at C2C. Is it fun for you to show that side of yourself through songs like Call Me and Heart’s Going Out Of Its Mind?

For sure! It’s fun to be able to show different sides and just because I got married doesn’t mean I can’t be flirty and sexy.

Absolutely, and Woman Down is such a powerful anthem for women. Tell me the story about that one…

I love those songs that Shania (Twain) did so well of women empowerment. I heard this song and just wanted to sing it for my mom. I wanted to sing it for my grandmother. I wanted to just sing it for just any woman who’s gone through hell.

It’s funny that you mentioned Shania because while listening to the album, it brings to mind Come On Over for me and it feels like this could be a big record for you, like that one was for her…

I hope so.

Well best of luck with the record Carly. It’s such a strong album and it’s already a contender for album of the year for me…

Thank you, that really does mean a lot and just know that I’m very grateful for that.

Carly Pearce’s self-titled new album is available now. Watch the video for I Hope You’re Happy Now below:

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