Martina McBride released her latest album, Everlasting, last spring, but after signing a new record deal with Nash Icon in December, the singer is already working on new music. McBride says that the energy at her new label has made her feel like she's returning to the "good old days" of working in country music, with more collaboration and positivity than is typically found at labels today.

"One thing I know is that it's a really exciting time to be doing this," McBride told The Boot at a media event prior to the 2015 ACM Awards. "You know, we had a meeting the other day with the whole label, and it was like, there was so much positive energy and excitement in that room. It was like the old days: Everybody was just on 10, and there were all these great ideas floating around. It's a very creative company."

Nash Icon's other big female artist is Reba McEntire, and McBride says that she's been closely watching her colleague's success and the process she went through to put out her recently released Love Somebody album.

"Watching Reba, it's amazing! She has a hit single out there, and I don't know what her record numbers are, but I'm sure they're going to be awesome," McBride says. "I love the record. I've heard it for a couple weeks now -- I had a little sneak preview -- and I think it sounds ... it's like vintage Reba, but also it's fresh at the same time."

McBride has begun working on her next album by taking the initial steps to look for songs. She's still early in the process, but McBride says that she's looking for special songs, no matter who they come from.

"It's so early in the process. I've only been doing it about a week and a half, so I haven't found a lot of things, but I have found a couple that I like," she says. "They're just great story songs, you know, inspiring. Just great songs -- great writing ... I have my favorite songwriters, and I always listen to what they have to say, but it's just as exciting to get an undiscovered writer. Sometimes it's a fresh perspective.

"I just kind of try to find the best songs. Sometimes I'll have a sound in my head, like a production idea," McBride continues. "I've sort of got an idea for this record, so that's fun to come at it from that point of view, where you can kind of come up with a soundscape and an idea of a style that you want to do and then find songs around that. And then sometimes you just find the songs, and they dictate how you want to do the album."

McBride is currently on tour, with dates scheduled into September. See a list of upcoming shows at

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