Lady Antebellum Talks 'Ocean,' New Chapter & Why It Felt Like 'Going Home'

Lady Antebellum 2019

Lady Antebellum 2019

Lady Antebellum has returned to their roots on their brand new album Ocean.

Ocean is Lady A's eighth full-length studio album and follows their 2017 LP Heart Break and showcases 13 new songs, including lead single "What If I Never Get Over You" and guest a guest appearance by Little Big Town ("The Thing That Wrecks You").

The band tells iHeartRadio of their new album, "It is the most present album we've ever made. And I think what's interesting about the fact that there's so much new is that we went back to what felt the most comfortable from the standpoint of songs and how they made us feel, and production and how it made us feel. And truly having a team around us that looked at us when this whole process started and said, 'What are your top three songs that you would say define who you as a band?' And we said, 'I Run to You,' 'Need You Now' and 'American Honey.' And that was kind of where it all started, of even though being in this new chapter, going home is what it felt like."

They add, "There were a lot of firsts on this project. Our first time with Big Machine, our first time with producer Dann Huff, our first time doing a collaboration. There were a lot of things that were brand new for us. So, I think for that reason as well, it was like we were starting all over again. It was like we were starting back in 2006/2007, making our first album. So, we had those feelings sonically in the studio with Dann Huff that it felt like some of the early music; getting back to some of those duets, some of the more organic stuff that we've recorded in the past. It felt really warm and just very organic for us."

Lady A worked with talented producer Dann Huff on Ocean, who has helped create some of the albums that have influenced the band the most. They explain, "I think if, you would've asked us, individually, who we wanted to work with in the studio, and just haven't had the opportunity to over the course of our career, we would all say Dann Huff. He has just been the captain of so many albums that I think are some of our most favorite, biggest influences over the years."

The group's Hillary Scott adds, "It's like when you meet someone you consider a hero. Like, I'll never forget the time that we met Bruce Springsteen, and we were in London, and it was like, you have these hopes that they're gonna be as cool as you just hope they are. And when they are, you're just so blown away and you're so excited and humbled and grateful that they surpassed what your expectations were. And I would say the same exact thing about Dann. I actually was thinking about this recently, I don't know what was my favorite part of recording [was] — like actually doing that or the conversations that I was able to have with him in the process of just ... he brings his entire being to the studio; his heart, his musicianship, his experience. And we got to see all of it. I just appreciate him leaving it all out on the table for us and and I think just the birth of a beautiful friendship with him too. It's so much deeper than just cutting songs and singing them. And he opened up his home to us to record almost all of the vocals, which was, for me specifically, I feel like I accessed something vocally that I'd never been able to before because I felt so comfortable there."

And Dave Haywood shared, "That producer role is really a part of the family. I mean he was the person we spent six months with non-stop. He was the fourth member of the band for half a year working on this album. So that's a special role to be that close, and like Hillary said, he was totally a part of our family and it was a wonderful fit."

Lady Antebellum has come along way since their 2008 self-titled album, not only professionally, but personally as well. And their journey has led them to this new chapter of their career — they are closer than they've ever been and they have channeled everything into their new music. The band explains:

"As a band, we're definitely as close and open as we've been in a long time. I think we're trying to be completely honest at the past and you'll hear it in the songs. The past, two/three years have been really tough for us as a band, just kind of going [through] so many life changes and really trying to recognize what each of us wants out of this career and out of this life. And, we kind of pretty much came to the conclusion that for us to continue to do this, it's gonna be balance and trust and open and honest conversations. And, after having those conversations then said, 'All right. Well, let's put that in the music.' And I think that's where songs like 'Ocean' and 'Be Patient with My Love' really kind of spawned from, was wanting to even bare our souls and share a little bit of our experiences with the world and through our music."