Everything We Know About Kristian Bush’s New Album, ‘Southern Gravity’
The Knoxville, Tenn., native has been extremely open about this new project, and his excitement is contagious. While Bush let his Sugarland partner Jennifer Nettles shine in the spotlight for over 10 years, this album is his turn to have all eyes (and ears) on him. The following is everything we know about Bush's forthcoming record, Southern Gravity.
The album's name is simple and straightforward, and it's the title of the fourth track on the record. The song is literally about Southern gravity: how life in the South pulls Bush back to reality, in a sense; the country star's Southern roots and experiences are what anchor him.
"There is a misconception that I've experienced in my life about people that live in the south," he says. "I got sent away to school in Connecticut in the late '80s, and kids were honestly asking me, 'Do people there wear shoes?' I live here, and I actually eat the barbeque that makes that music better, and I meet the beautiful women we write these songs about. And that deserves an album. It's a celebration of what it feels like to be pulled back to something."
The Release Date
"Trailer Hitch" is the album's first single, and boy, is it a doozy. As the title suggests, the song's message recognizes the fact that when you die, you can't take anything with you, and the lyrics cut straight to the heart: “I don’t know why, know why / Everybody wanna die rich / Diamonds, champagne / Work your way down that list / We try, everybody tries / Tries to fit into that ditch / You can’t take it with you when you go / Never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch.”
It's funky, upbeat, reggae-inspired and catchy while still relaying an important message.
Bush admits to writing over 300 songs for the record, and he needed some help narrowing them down to 12. To help with track selection, he played the songs for fans at shows and posted them online for free. Fans could share the songs and react to them, helping Bush select the favorites.
Bush also debuted one of the songs, "Walk Tall," at the Grand Ole Opry. It's a special tune to the singer, as he wrote it for his 12-year-old song.
“It’s not what you do when people are looking that matters; it’s what you do when people aren't looking,” Bush says. “... I’m pretty proud of him, but it’s pretty daunting as a parent to think what would you tell your son; what advice would you give him?”
The following is the track listing for Southern Gravity:
1. "Make Another Memory"
2. "Light Me Up"
3. "Trailer Hitch"
4. "Southern Gravity"
5. "Flip Flops"
6. "Giving It Up"
7. "Feeling Fine California"
8. "Waiting on an Angel"
9. "Walk Tall"
10. "Sending You a Sunset"
11. "Sweet Love"
12. "House on a Beach"
For Southern Gravity, Bush partnered with Grammy-winning producer Bryan Gallimore, who produced four of Sugarland's records. He has also worked with country artists like Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, Martina McBride and many more.
The Record Label
The record will be released by Streamsound Records, which Gallimore co-owns.
This is the first time that Bush has been featured on an album cover all by himself, and Southern Gravity's cover gets up close and personal. Bush is sporting a trendy black hat, laid-back white T-shirt and dark jacket, with his name prominently standing out in red. The combined colors of red, white and black all come together into one solid, simple and good-looking album cover.
Fans can be sure Bush's record won't be a sad one.
“I didn’t want to make an album of lament,” he says. “That’s a pitfall in many people I’ve seen step away from their acts and then say, ‘I want this to be the sad version of my life.’ I personally love those records, but it’s not the record I wanted to make."
And while it won't be a record full of downer songs, you can expect that Bush will try to put a message in his music -- and in every song, there will be a bit of a takeaway. Take "Trailer Hitch," for example, which cuts to the chase while still giving fans a song they want to listen to.
“You don’t have to preach, but if I’m going to ask someone to play something on the radio, I should be as aware as I can be," Bush reflects.
If there's anyone who knows Bush's record, it's Gallimore, the producer. And his thoughts on the record have us even more excited to hear it.
"After working on four records with Sugarland, I know Kristian’s musical abilities well,” Gallimore says. “The music he is getting ready to drop on country radio is some of the most exciting I’ve heard in years."
Coming from the guy who produced Hill's Breathe and 12 of McGraw's albums (as well as discs for all the artists mentioned previously), that's a major compliment.