Big Machine country star Carly Pearce – “the Kentucky native with the fiery voice,” as she was described by American Songwriter – has announced the February 19 release of her new song collection, 29. It’s previewed today (5) by the track “Should’ve Known Better.”
The new material comes in the wake of Pearce’s platinum-certified success with the signature hits “Every Little Thing” and the CMA Song of the Year-nominated “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” The seven-song 29 is the result of her songwriting liaison with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, and heralds a deep dive into her musical roots.
Speaking of busbee, her former collaborator who died at the age of just 43 in 2019, Pearce says: “Losing busbee was such a moment of upheaval. He had believed in me…carried me…brought me through everyone getting deals around me…because he knew something I couldn’t see: that it would happen.
“And then as we’re doing Lee [Brice]’s vocal on ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now,’ he has that first seizure, and my creative world started to unravel. It’s scary being out there on your own, and I think the response to the song…going platinum, being nominated for Song of the Year…that was a little bit him telling me to stand tall, to walk forward, to know my life and my writing would carry my voice and my dream forward.”
In her subsequent partnership with McAnally and Osborne, acknowledges the strong women of 1990s country with “Should’ve Known Better,” the soul-flavored “Liability,” and an homage to busbee in “Show Me Around.” The collection has echoes of country greats from the Judds to Loretta Lynn and a candid feeling of transition from heartbreak to healing.
“The best songs come from the moment, from real creative spark – and Josh and Shane bring it out of me,” she says. “I was unsure where my music would be without busbee. They both know where my musical heart is, and they understand how to capture exact details for much larger truths. The more specific they write, the more people I think can see themselves in the songs.
“I feel lighter reflecting on the last year and pouring my soul into this music and wanted to share it in hopes that others too will take from the songs what they need. With streaming and social media, we were able record music for the sole purpose of letting my fans know where my heart is without any expectations. That’s a kind of immediacy that makes making records really exciting. I can’t wait to share 29.”
29 is released on February 15. Pre-order it here.
The full 29 tracklist is:
1. “Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne*
2. “Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton*
3. “29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne*
4. “Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne*
5. “Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins+
6. “Show Me Around” | Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West*
7. “Day One” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey*
*Produced by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
+Produced by Jimmy Robbins