Dan + Shay Say Sophomore Album Will Be More ‘Mature’
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, better known as Dan + Shay, released their freshman album, Where It All Began, in 2014, and fans eager to hear new music will be glad to know that it's in the works. There's not an official timeline, or title, for the project just yet, but they can't wait to get it into listeners' hands.
"We’re definitely going to have an album out sometime this year," Smyers tells The Boot. "We’re always writing, always recording. It’s never done, until the label says, ‘No. We had to ship it yesterday.’ That was our process with the first one; we never stopped writing. But there comes a point in the creative process where someone says, ‘Okay, we want to have it in stores by a certain date. We have to have it done, and you guys have to have it finished.'"
Dan + Shay recently released the first single from their sophomore project, "From the Ground Up." The song -- their fourth Top 30 single -- was written by Mooney and Smyers, along with hit songwriter Chris DeStefano, and is possibly one of the most meaningful tunes that the duo has ever penned together.
"We’re really proud of that song," Mooney admits. "It came from a conversation we had: We were doing vocals for another song, and Dan and I were discussing that his grandfather had just passed away, and mine was in the hospital. We were talking about the true love. Both of our grandfathers separately were married for over 65 years.
"That kind of love doesn’t exist anymore, it seems," he continues. "We wanted to pay homage to our grandparents. We saw that love in them, and they really did build something 'from the ground up,' if you will. We started talking about that example and started the song. It came from a very organic and special place for us."
Dan + Shay wrote between "80 and 90" songs while writing for their new record -- but not all of the tunes will be for them. They're both prolific songwriters, and Mooney also wrote "I Like the Sound of That," which has become a Top 5 hit for Rascal Flatts.
"It’s hard because, those guys are so busy, too, it’s probably hard to write. When you’re on the road, it’s really, really hard to write," Smyers notes. "We’re always writing. We have so many songs, [and] we can’t put out seven albums in a year, so [having another artist cut a song is] great. Our mentality is, if it’s a great song and there’s an artist we love that wants to cut it, then they can cut it."
Although Dan + Shay continue to grow as artists and songwriters, they promise that their second album will still sound like the music their fans already love.
"The fans fell in love with our first album, and we didn’t want to go too crazy from that. We wanted to give our fans what they fell in love with," Mooney says. "I think this is a mature album. We probably haven't matured as people, but I think our music has definitely matured, and our songwriting has. Our lives have definitely evolved as we’ve gotten older.
"I think it’s going to be 'Dan + Shay,'" he adds. "If you liked the first one, you’re going to like the second one. We had a little more time to make this album."
Adds Smyers, "We’re really, really proud of it. We got to take our time a little more, and we’re really proud of it."
Dan + Shay will spend much of the next few months on the road, including several dates with Darius Rucker. A list of all of their upcoming shows is available on their website. "From the Ground Up" is available for download on iTunes.