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Jennifer Nettles Preparing Solo Album

Jennifer Nettles
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland has announced that she’s recording a new solo album, and hopes to have it out this fall. The singer shares she’s working with famed producer Rick Rubin on the project — her first since giving birth to her son Magnus last December.

Nettles took to Twitter to make the announcement, linking to a profile of the album in Rolling Stone. She says the project will be more intimate and emotional than anything she’s done with partner Kristian Bush in Sugarland. Some of the songs she wrote on her own, while others she worked on with songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Butch Walker.

Many of the names associated with the project have rock backgrounds. In addition to Rubin — who is famous for albums by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the Beastie Boys, in addition to the Johnny Cash ‘American Recordings’ albums — Nettles is working with Ian McLagan (the Faces and Rolling Stones), drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot) and guitarist Smokey Hormel (Beck and Tom Waits). Rolling Stone reports that the still-unnamed album was cut in Malibu, Calif.

“They’re performances,” Nettles says of the 20 songs she’s recorded. “I love how human everything is. I’ve always wanted to capture the feeling of a live performance on a record, and this is as damn fine of an effort as I’ve ever done in that regard.”

Rubin adds that the sound is a mix of country, blues, jazz, classic rock and island rhythms. “There’s a lot of styles, but it all sounds like her,” he reveals.

“I’m a different version of myself than what people might have known before,” says Nettles. “You can get comfortable with certain sounds, and your fans come to expect them. At the same time, I wanted to play with different parts of my voice or my writing. It won’t be a shock or surprise to a Sugarland fan, but hopefully it will bring in new listeners, too.”

Sugarland’s last album was ‘The Incredible Machine’ in 2010. Look for Nettles at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards on May 19. She’s scheduled to be a presenter.

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