Sunny Sweeney, ‘Provoked’ – Album of the Month (August 2014)
'Provoked' swept to a major victory, defeating new albums from a variety of acts including Billy Joe Shaver, Americana duo Shovels & Rope, newcomers Joel Crouse and Chase Rice, and even Brad Paisley. The album took more than 58% of the total vote.
Sweeney set out to document the highs and the lows of her life in recent years with the new collection of songs.
“The album is a journey from nearly hitting bottom and losing everything personally to regaining my footing and being able to find not only my true self again, but real happiness,” she says.
Sweeney has released two albums via major labels, but turned directly to her fans to raise money to record and release 'Provoked' independently via a PledgeMusic Campaign. She wrote or co-wrote 11 of the album's 13 tracks, working with a host of the top writers in Nashville, including Angaleena Presley, Brandy Clark, Natalie Hemby and Brett Beavers.
“My fans recognize that this is something different, and they recognize that I’m writing about the truth,” she states. “They’ve been through a lot with me, and they’ve seen me in both good places and bad, and the feedback I’m getting from them now is that they feel like this is the real me again.”
The album's first single is 'Bad Girl Phase.' Another track, 'My Bed,' is a duet with Will Hoge that Sweeney wrote with Presley and Ashley Monroe. The song is one of several on the album that draw from painful personal experience.
“I was married to someone else and there were obvious issues and stuff and it just didn’t work,” she says. “Even being the one that wanted the divorce, I was still so torn up over it. I still did my shows and I still wrote a bunch of songs during that time, but it was the most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever been through.”
'Provoked' is set for release on Aug. 5 via Thirty Tigers. It is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.
A portion of the proceeds from each album sold will go to the non-profit organization CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), which trains volunteers to advocate for the needs of abused and neglected children, both in the court room and their local communities.
“I have been unbelievably blessed in my life, and I know that I owe a lot of that to my upbringing to the Northeast Texas community -- a place I’m proud to call home,” Sweeney explains. “I hope that others will be inspired, or rather invoked, to also pay it forward.”
Sunny Sweeney, ‘Provoked’ Track Listing:
1 ‘You Don’t Know Your Husband’
2. ‘Bad Girl Phase’
3. ‘Second Guessing’
4. ‘Carolina on the Line’
5. ‘Find Me’
6. ‘Can’t Let Go’
7. ‘Front Row Seats’
8. ‘My Bed’
10. ‘Sunday Dress’
11. ‘Used Cars’
12. ‘Backhanded Compliment’
13. ‘Everybody Else Can Kiss My Ass’