Everything We Know About Brett Eldredge’s New Album, ‘Sunday Drive’
Things will sound a bit different when Brett Eldredge releases his next album. The country star took a technology break, left Nashville and teamed up with a pair of Grammy-winning producers to create his fifth studio record.
In recent months, Eldredge has largely stayed off social media. In fact, the once-frequent poster traded in his smartphone for a flip phone -- a move that, he says, was good for both his creativity and his mental health and has "changed me extremely profoundly."
"I was needing a break from the noise of the world, from any distractions," Eldredge admitted during a virtual roundtable interview with The Boot and other media members. "I was somebody that was on social media all the time, and I don't regret that, but it definitely wasn't healthy for me."
Cutting out the noise, Eldredge continues, gave him the time to "find my heart ... and it changed the way I look at how I create, how vulnerable I get.
"I learned just how much farther I can go into it and try to just share myself and share my heart," he adds, "and how empowering that can be."
Keep reading to learn everything we know, so far, about Eldredge's next album.
Eldredge's new album is titled Sunday Drive.
The Release Date
Sunday Drive is due out on July 10 and is available for pre-order now.
The Album Cover
The Sunday Drive album cover looks like the front of a scrapbook: A weathered-looking background features an old photo of two boys on bikes, with the album's title and Eldredge's name below it.
Eldredge enlisted Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk for Sunday Drive. The award-winning pair are the producers behind Kacey Musgraves' acclaimed Golden Hour album.
"I always just loved [Ian's] energy and everything, but I ... didn't know much about his producing yet, or his writing. And Daniel, I've known his publisher for a long time and always heard about him, but I never got connected," Eldredge shares. "So I knew they were people that I've never created with, and I was very fascinated by ... I knew that they created a little bit differently."
"A little bit different" was exactly what Eldredge was looking for: "I was at this moment in my life where I wanted to shake things up a lot and really push myself creatively, to create something next level," he notes. After meeting Fitchuk and Tashian, Eldredge recalls, "I walked out of the room thinking, 'Wow, I don't know what just happened, but it was something special.'"
That magic feeling continued as the trio wrote and created demos, which Eldredge says made him feel as though he was "actually hear[ing] myself as an artist for the first time ...
"And then we just kept writing. And then next thing you know," he adds, "that's exactly how we made the record in Chicago."
The Record Label
Eldredge is releasing Sunday Drive via Warner Music Group. It's been his label home since the start of his career.
"Gabrielle" is Eldredge's lead single from Sunday Drive. He co-wrote the look back on a love that didn't work out with Fitchuk and Tashian, and released the song on April 17.
"I'm not saying whether or not it's -- whether the person's name actually is Gabrielle," Eldredge says, "but it is about a real situation in my life."
In addition to being the first single off of Eldredge's new album, "Gabrielle" is also the first song he recorded for Sunday Drive. "I stepped in there, and we nailed it in one pass," the singer recalls.
"Gabrielle" is a piano-heavy track, which forced Eldredge to sharpen his skills on the instrument, and listeners will hear a folk-rock influence. Eldredge says he was listening to a lot of music from the 1970s, such as the Band and Van Morrison, while he was writing the single and the rest of Sunday Drive's songs.
As Eldredge was looking toward his fifth studio album, he says, "I felt in a place where there's so much more I could give and there's so much more that I have as an artist that I haven't shown yet, vocally and musically and everything.
"And so, I had to really shake up the process," he concluded, which meant a road trip with Fitchuk, Tashian and Eldredge's manager, John Peets, on Eldredge's tour bus, to his hometown of Paris, Ill.
"I showed them those Midwest values that I grew up in and still carry in my life," Eldredge explains. "And then we took that bus from there and went up to Chicago and made this record for -- lived in Chicago for weeks at a time."
Eldredge and company mostly recorded Sunday Drive at Shirk Studios, in the city's Wicker Park area (they finished the project up at Sound Emporium in Nashville). The star knows he could have come back to Nashville to record -- "This is Music City. It's the best place in the world to make music," he acknowledges -- but, he says, "I needed to get a different lens on what I was doing, as an artist and as a person."
A full track list for Sunday Drive is not yet available, but we do know that it will contain 12 songs. In addition to "Gabrielle," he also shared "Crowd My Mind," written with Ross Copperman, and "Where the Heart Is," written with Jessie Jo Dillon and Tyler Johnson, on April 17.
"They are definitely [indicative of] where I am in my life. I think that was the goal for this record, too, was to share a lot more of myself in a extremely honest way," Eldredge explains of how the first three revealed songs fit into Sunday Drive as a whole. "I've been a known singer of love songs, and I love to sing love songs, but, you know, the love songs on this record ... are way more realistic to what my life is now."
Eldredge has not yet announced a tour in support of Sunday Drive. When he does, however, The Boot will update this story.
LOOK: Brett Eldredge's Best Live Shots