Everything We Know About Dierks Bentley’s ‘Black’
Dierks Bentley's eighth studio album, Black, will follow up his highly successful Riser record. As expected, fans are eager for any details regarding Bentley's new project, so The Boot has rounded up absolutely everything we know so far about Black, from its title origin to its songs and much, much more.
Black takes its title from its first song, but it also has a personal tie to the singer: Black is his wife's maiden name.
The title encompasses the disc as a whole, Bentley maintains: “There’s a realness to the concept, the songs, the process and the production. And the title … Black is mysterious and sexy and has an edge that describes the sounds we were going for. A lot of it happens after dark, in the black of night."
The Release Date
Black is set for release on May 27.
The album is available for pre-order via Dierks.com. Fans who pre-order the disc will receive bonus tracks and videos, special merchandise and “Black Card” member experiences on Bentley’s 2016 summer tour.
The Album Cover
Black's album cover is ... well, quite fitting. It's a black-and-white shot of Bentley, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket, staring into the camera while on a city street. Bentley's name and the album's title appear at the center of the cover.
Bentley began recording Black with producer Ross Copperman and executive producer Arturo Buenahora Jr. in February of 2015. Copperman also produced Riser.
Bentley revealed Black's first single, "Somewhere on a Beach," in mid-January. The title immediately brings singers such as Kenny Chesney and Jake Owen to mind, but it's less island-focused than their normal work, and Bentley's raspy voice is a nice contrast to its smooth beach tones.
While Bentley and his wife Cassidy have been married for a decade, his new album will explore all phases of a relationship, including breakups, and "Beach" is definitely a rebound song.
""Beach" is a pretty blunt take on that wild rebound we’ve all had or maybe imagined having,” the singer explains.
On May 26, just one day before Black's release, Bentley shared "Different for Girls" as the disc's second single.
Black is, according to Bentley, a "relationship-based record."
"Most the songs deal with just the ups, downs, curves and swerves of the relationship that I'm in and the life that I live and what I do for a living," the artist tells Rolling Stone Country. "There's a lot to mine in a long-term relationship, and I'm digging into that for this record."
Black's tracks "explore the shadows and edges of the heart," Bentley says, adding, “The songs on Black range from the lonesomeness of an impossible relationship to ones that describe the feeling of finding that person that makes you forget the one that broke your heart.”
During an appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in mid-March, Bentley unveiled a song called "Freedom." The tune is full of vivid imagery set to an upbeat melody: “It’s the keys to your daddy’s car / It’s a night alone ‘neath the desert stars / It’s the five o’clock whistle / It’s the classroom bell / It’s a Panama City out the window yell / First kiss after a broken heart ..."
Black features 13 tracks, including its first single, “Somewhere on a Beach.”
“It’s a relationship album that covers the ups and downs of the journey and ends with some self-realization and evolvement,” Bentley notes. “The song “Black” helps set all of that in motion at the top of the album by guiding you into the darkness and the shadows of the night. The same guy who sings “Somewhere on a Beach” winds up growing and having enough perspective to sing something introspective like “Different for Girls.” By the last song, he’s taking a look back on love and life.”
Guest vocalists include Maren Morris and Elle King, as well as an appearance by Trombone Shorty.
“Having a female perspective on this record really made the album more than just music,” Bentley says. “It makes it a conversation between a guy and a girl. Sometimes it’s harmonious, and sometimes it’s two people clashing, but it’s always there.”
Morris' track, "I'll Be the Moon," didn't start out as a duet; originally, it was recorded as Bentley singing solo, "but the song looks at a relationship from a different angle, where the girl is instigating the deceit. So, I felt like it needed a female voice, and I started to hear it more as a duet,” the singer explains to Rolling Stone. “I love the perspective Maren adds; there’s weight to her voice.”
Dierks Bentley, Black Track Listing:
2. “Pick Up”
3. “I’ll Be the Moon” (feat. Maren Morris)
4. “What the Hell Did I Say”
5. “Somewhere on a Beach”
7. “Why Do I Feel”
8. “Roses and a Time Machine”
9. “All the Way to Me”
10. “Different for Girls” (feat. Elle King)
11. “Mardi Gras” (feat. Trombone Shorty)
12. “Light It Up”
13. “Can’t Be Replaced”
Bentley says that he had to "dig deep as a writer, dig into the Nashville songwriting community" for the songs on Black.
Bentley will begin his 2016 Somewhere on a Beach Tour, also featuring Randy Houser and Cam, on May 12.
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