Kip Moore is ready to go a little deeper. After releasing a brand-new single, “She’s Mine,” on Aug. 9, the country star is looking toward the release of his fourth studio album, a project that he says will take both his music and his relationship with his fans to a new level.

“Each record, I want you to see a growth … I want you to be able to know that you’re going on the journey and we’re all growing together,” Moore tells The Boot. “I’m not still writing about the same thing that I wrote on the record before, because that shit makes me crazy [as a fan].”

Seated backstage at an outdoor amphitheater in Lewiston, N.Y., Moore’s sunglasses cover his eyes, but he’s lively and engaging as his discusses his newest project, which will follow 2017’s stellar Slowheart. Moore says he’s “been on such a journey,” both physically – his Instagram page documents his many outdoor adventures – and mentally.

“For me, this record depicts and gives you an open look into where my mindset has been a lot,” Moore explains. “It looks like everything’s always roses for us out here, but it’s a really tough grind, and … it’s always making me search for more answers.”

He’s one of country music’s more outspoken artists, but his messages come from a place of soul-searching. That introspection has made its way into his new music, too.

“From day one, I had all these ideas pressed on me … and I think too many times, people, where they’re from, they adopt whatever ideals that have been [ingrained there],” muses Moore, a native of small-town Georgia. “You could have just as easily been born in Ethiopia and had a completely different outlook on everything, so my mind has always been open and my heart has always been open to growth, and I think you get a lot of that on this record, where I’m still trying to figure out what my place is in this life, where I’m supposed to be, what’s important to me, what do I care about, what are the things that really matter, what’s smoke and mirrors out here, what’s not smoke and mirrors out here.”

It’s not exactly the sort of musical fare you’d expect from listening to “She’s Mine,” an upbeat, rock-leaning track that finds Moore sending a message to the woman who’s meant for him, whoever and wherever she is. Then again, Moore’s biggest radio hits – the No. 1 single “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” or the romantic “More Girls Like You,” for example – have often not been indicative of his albums as a whole.

“I feel like, at times, I’ve kind of been put in this mid-tempo love song world when it comes to the radio world, but when you come to the show, it’s a whole different beast,” says Moore. “You’re always thankful whenever you get [on radio] … because they’re hard to come by and it brings new fans in, but I’m always hoping songs like “She’s Mine” get a chance because they give you a better idea of what we do.”

“She’s Mine” is an old song, one of a few to make Moore’s as-yet-untitled new record. It almost made the cut for his first album, 2012’s Up All Night; then, it was planned to be the lead single from 2015’s Wild Ones, but the sound wasn’t quite right. “I just had to figure out how to make it come to life,” Moore explains, “and I finally figured it out.”

“This was just always a great song, and there’s never a bad time to put out something that’s a strong song,” Moore says. “And, for me, it’s still very relative to my life. I’m still not settled down; my life is still upside down.”

Kip Moore's Best Live Shots

More From TheBoot