Church’s latest project, The Outsiders, will be the North Carolina native’s fourth studio album and is slated to arrive Feb. 11. Following the success of 2011′s Chief, Church says he pushed his material even farther away from what he considers comfortable in country music.
“We’ve had the ability after every record to feel more emboldened by what we did on the last record,” Church told The Associated Press. “And I think with this one, with the success of Chief, we were a little bulletproof.”
As evidenced by its title track and first single, The Outsiders will explore a range of musical styles, including heavy metal and hard rock.
“They’re bold,” said Church of his new songs. “I’m interested to see what people think about them. I always say the songs are mine till the moment we release them, then they’re the fans’ [songs]. I’m very anxious. I have a lot of anxiety to see what people think about what we’ve done.”
Nettles — from the Grammy-winning duo Sugarland — will make her solo debut on Jan. 14 with an album called That Girl. Recorded with the help of genre-defying producer Rick Rubin, she aims to speak and sing from the heart.
“I think this album so far for me musically has been the most intimate and personal … musically and vocally,” Nettles said Monday (Nov. 4) at the ASCAP Country Awards in Nashville.
Returning to the public eye following the birth of her son, Magnus, Nettles believes she has a lot of catching up to do with fans.
“I’m able to show a side that I think’s more womanly,” she said. “I think it’s more mature, and so that’s big for me. I think it gives you perspective all around, not just musically but also in my career.”