Everything We Know About Little Big Town’s New Album, ‘The Breaker’
Little Big Town took home the CMA for Vocal Group of the Year in 2016, and based on what they’ve got coming up in 2017, they may just hold onto that title! Among the country quartet’s big plans for this year is a new album, The Breaker, set for release in late February.
With The Breaker — LBT’s eighth studio album — the group will return to their country ways after a slight pop departure for 2016’s Wanderlust. Below, The Boot has rounded up all of the details known so far about Little Big Town’s upcoming record.
Little Big Town’s new album will be titled The Breaker. According to Karen Fairchild, the name was inspired by the myriad meanings that can be found in something breaking.
“The record is called The Breaker for multiple reasons,” she says. “I think there’s lots of ways that you get broken. I think there are some times you are the breaker. Sometimes it’s like looking ahead at the future and what’s on the horizon, breaking. Just so many ways it ties into the record, and for us as a band.”
The Release Date
The Breaker is set for release on Feb. 24, less than a year after Little Big Town’s last studio release, Wanderlust. Kimberly Schlapman says that she and her bandmates put a lot of thought and work into the new project.
“We love to make records,” Schlapman says. “We love to evolve as we go … We’ve been working all year. We’ve had a crazy busy year, but we’ve been in the studio a lot and writing a lot, and we’re very excited to get it out to everyone.”
The Record Label
The Breaker will be released via Capitol Nashville; it will be Little Big Town’s fifth album with the label since signing to Capitol in 2008.
The Album Cover
Little Big Town revealed The Breaker‘s album cover via Instagram on Jan. 18. It features the four band members standing in a lush forest; Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild are perched on a fallen tree, while Phillip Sweet and Kimberly Schlapman are standing on the ground, amid greenery. The band’s name, the album’s title and the project’s track listing are above the photo, in a skinny, simple gray text.
The Breaker was produced by Jay Joyce, who also produced Little Big Town’s 2014 offering, Pain Killer. In addition to his production work (which includes Eric Church‘s Mr. Misunderstood and Pawn Shop by the Brothers Osborne), Joyce has written songs for LBT, Keith Urban and Emmylou Harris.
“Better Man” is the first single off of The Breaker. Little Big Town released the song in late October of 2016 — and the caused quite a stir when, a couple of weeks later, they revealed that it was written by Taylor Swift.
“She sent us this song, and it was one that was really special to her,” Fairchild shares. “She thought of us because of the harmonies … and the moment that we heard it, we were like, ‘Man, that is a song that we’re going to cut.’”
Swift had never pitched a song to another artist before, but LBT were more than happy to oblige. They performed the tune, just a few weeks after its release, at the 2016 CMA Awards.
When Little Big Town shared The Breaker‘s cover on Jan. 18, fans were able to see the project’s track listing, as it’s on the cover itself. Other than “Better Man,” LBT have not offered any specifics about the songs on The Breaker — but they have hinted at the project’s essence. Following the group’s pop-infused, Pharrell-produced disc Wanderlust, The Breaker will return to a country sound, but continue to explore new corners of LBT’s music.
“Every record has a life of its own, a personality of its own. And this one really has its own personality, too,” Phillip Sweet says. “I think we went in this time with even more confidence and an idea to push ourselves even further. I feel like the music has a feeling of, it feels good. There’s a lot of feel-good stuff on this record.”
Additionally, Little Big Town have said that The Breaker‘s title track was written by Connie Harrington and TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne.
Little Big Town, The Breaker Track Listing:
1. “Happy People”
2. “Night on Our Side”
3. “Lost in California”
5. “Drivin’ Around”
6. “We Went to the Beach”
7. “Better Man”
9. “Don’t Die Young, Don’t Get Old”
10. “Beat Up Bible”
11. “When Someone Stops Loving You”
12. “The Breaker”
Little Big Town don’t have plans to head out on an extended city-to-city tour in 2017, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be performing live this year. On Nov. 1, 2016, the group announced that they will begin a six-show residency at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium on The Breaker‘s release date, Feb. 24. The Little Big Town at the Mother Church residency will last through September.
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