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With “Downtown” burning up the charts, fans are anxious to learn more about what Lady Antebellum’s forthcoming fourth album might sound like. Charles Kelley tells Country Weekly the best words to describe the project are “organic” and “raw.”
“I don’t think we put any string sections on any song, which we had a lot of on the last two records. We just wanted to get back to our first record a little bit,” he says, citing the trio’s 2008 debut.
And while fans won’t be shouting “'Free Bird'!” at Lady A shows anytime soon, Charles reveals that some Southern rock has crept into the studio. “There is a lot of Southern rock influences on the other songs,” he says, comparing the twin lead guitars of “Downtown” to the Allman Brothers. “It feels very Allman Brothers meets Sheryl Crow. It’s something that we knew would be fun live.”
Charles is thrilled for fans to hear what else he and bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood have come up with.
“After ‘Need You Now,’ it’s hard not to try to write [another] ‘Need You Now.’ Once we got away from that, I think we got back to writing really great songs again,” Charles says. “We’re excited about the whole project.”
As for the immediate success of “Downtown,” Charles says the fans were clearly hungry for something different from Lady Antebellum.
“We had just come off some very serious singles,” he admits. “We knew going into this record that we wanted to come out of the gate with something really fresh and different and fun for us.”
Look for more on Lady A and “Downtown” in the Feb. 25 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Feb. 18.