When Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood decided to take a break in 2015 at the end of their 747 World Tour, rumors and speculation began to swirl that the band was done, kaput, breaking up.
Soon after Charles released his solo album, The Driver, Hillary teamed with her family for a faith-based album, Love Remains, and Dave took on other projects producing music, including country trio Post Monroe’s EP. It looked like the members of the band were going their separate ways. But those rumors were put to rest when the trio resurfaced on Thursday (Jan. 19) with a new single, “You Look Good.” The idea of breaking up after the hiatus was not even a thought that crossed their minds.
“Not even the slightest, honestly, we always knew what we were doing,” Charles tells Nash Country Daily. “It may have seemed kind of odd to everybody outside, but we knew. We just needed this time more than anything away and we could give the fans a little break from us too, you know?”
“Creatively, I mean we didn’t know where we wanted to go,” Dave adds. “I think that’s what we were taking a break from, was more of the creative mindset. It was like, we need a breather, we got to reset and figure out how to get back in the writing room and start like we did in 2006—with that kind of excitement and innocence and write that way.”
“We saw each other every day last year anyway,” Dave continues. “It was more of a creative, how do we get away, get back to the drawing board musically? Like Charles said, you need sometime to get refreshed and re-energize. I feel like this excitement, we haven’t felt. Even just the buzz this morning for us, I don’t think we felt like this in probably four or five years. Just that kind of—it’s new, it’s fresh.”
The good news for Lady A fans is that the “break” has gotten the band’s creative juices flowing again. Charles, Hillary and Dave are back.
“We got to go be inspired by just living life, by doing whatever passion projects we wanted to chase,” said Hillary. “We went to a lot of live shows—together we went to see Adele, Stevie Nicks when she came through. I mean just a lot of different opportunities to find inspiration. To be able to plug in to the creative process, to be able to creatively explore and just connect was really awesome. To remove all of our day in, day out routine and get out of town. We went down to Florida, brought in eight writers over the course of a week and we got nine songs in four days. One of them being ‘Heart Break,’ the title of the album. We just kind of flipped everything on its head. We’ve been able to write on the road for the most part over the past few years. Once our career really took off and we were traveling so much—you get to a point with families and other responsibilities that it gets hard to really find that time.”
The result of that inspiration is the groups return single, “You Look Good,” written by Hillary Lindsey, Ryan Hurd and producer busbee (Keith Urban, Maren Morris). The song has a funky ’70s-sound, including a horn section, which is a different vibe for the threesome.
“They like, ‘Hey, who that there with the shades?’ / Like oh, the way you move to the bass / Hold up, whole room gets to spinnin’ / From the second that you walk in it / Baby, you look good, all day all night / You look good, so fresh so fine / You look good, got everybody watchin’ you / Like cameras in Hollywood / Baby, you look good / Oh, baby, you look good,” the trio sings in the chorus.
“It’s kind of funky,” reveals Charles. “We always like to throw curve balls for sure when it comes to singles. There is a lot on the record that I think people will feel a little more reminiscent to what we’ve done in the past. I don’t know why we always just love to catch people off guard. The label really gravitated to this song, the minute we played them a few songs. They were just like, ‘Oh my gosh the horns, it just sounds fresh and different and like you all are having fun.’ So we felt like it would be a good first start. I mean the title track “Heart Break” is probably all our favorites too—I know that will be a single down the road too.”
“You Look Good” is just a taste of what you will hear on Lady A’s new album, Heart Break, when it drops on June 9. The threesome held a party in Nashville Thursday night (Jan 19) to preview some of their new music that will be found on the album, including their current single, “You Look Good,” the album’s title track, “Heart Break” and “Somebody Else’s Heart.”
In addition to the single and album, Lady A is pulling kicking off their You Look Good World Tour on May 26 with more than 65 shows in six countries. Joining them on the road will be country’s golden girl, Kelsea Ballerini, and newcomer Brett Young.
“Yeah in May, we got Kelsea Ballerini coming out with us,” Charles said. “This new guy, Brett Young, who is just on fire. It’s just going to be a fun summer and to have a song like ‘You Look Good’— by the time we’re out on tour, hopefully everybody will be knowing it. Just to have another really fun, funky song to perform live—to me, it helps take the show to that next level.”
Photo by Chris Hollo/ABC