Dustin Lynch fans know he’s good for the family-friendly traditional ballads like “Your Daddy’s Boots” from Where It’s At and his platinum-certified debut “Cowboys and Angels.”
They also know he can sing the hell out of red hot sexy songs like “Sing It to Me” and the gold-certified “Mind Reader.”
But going into the making of his third album, Current Mood, the 32-year-old Tullahoma, Tennessee, native had two goals in mind. His first was obvious: make the best music he could make. His second goal was to open up to his fans in ways he never has before. The result, he says, is his most sonically-ambitious and personal release to date.
“I wanted each song to represent an emotion or event that has brought me to this point in my life,” Lynch tells CMT.com. “It really is a peek behind the curtain of the social media posts I put out there. I don’t put a lot of my personal life online, and so this is kind of my way of shining a light on that.”
Out of all the music on Current Mood, Lynch’s top three soul-baring songs are “State Lines,” “New Girl” and “Wish You Were Beer.” Those who are in a long distance relationship will relate to “State Lines,” which is about feeling a partner’s love even though they are miles away. In “New Girl,” Lynch plays a gentleman who encourages a crush to never settle for anything less than the love she deserves. In “Wish You Were Beer,” the lead character wishes he could get over a relationship in ways alcohol drinkers get over hangovers.
But the bulk of the material is very sexy. “Why We Call Each Other” is one of his more risqué selections about a relationship that never seems to move beyond one-night stands. There’s the hard-rocking lead single, “Seein’ Red,” about a woman so fine she colors the world crimson. “Back on It” sings of getting hooked on a woman’s love like it’s a drug. “Sun Don’t Go Down on That” offers a telling line, “You never forget the way that it is when you know it’s love.”
The lighthearted numbers are the opener “I’d Be Jealous Too,” the anthemic party song “Here We Come” and the alternative rocker “Why Not Tonight,” along with “Small Town Boy,” which this week became his fifth single to top Billboard‘s country airplay chart.
His duet partner on “Love Me or Leave Me Alone,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, loved the song from the moment she heard it. She was first introduced to the demo during a late night hang with Lynch, her bandmates and Luke Bryan on Bryan’s Kill the Lights Tour. That night they were each taking turns playing new demos.
“Luke was working on a new album, Little Big Town was working on their new album, and I was working on mine,” Lynch recalls. “When I played ‘Love Me or Leave Me Alone,’ everybody goes, ‘Oh, my God, play that again.’ I thought, ‘Wow, this special. I’ve got something here.’ And Karen stepped up and she pretty much threatened me with my life — and some other things — if I didn’t let her sing on the song with me. … She really takes the song to the next level.”
Current Mood was produced by Brent Anderson, Mickey Jack Cones, Ross Copperman, Zach Crowell and Will Weatherly. And creating it was a tour in itself. The songs were recorded at eight different studios.
“That’s why this album took a little bit longer to do. It was just waiting, getting those right moments, producers and musicians lined up,” Lynch adds. “We recorded a lot of it on the road on tour, too. It’s just funny how magical moments that happen in a green room or on the bus end up being what we use on the album. We’ll see how it’s received.”
After the recording was completed, Lynch says he had approximately 100 working titles for the album.
“I finally got the sequence of the album done. I looked at the music and thought each of these songs was inspired by an event, a certain person, a place or some sort of interaction,” Lynch says. “It’s made me who I am today, and it’s currently me.”
Lynch will launch his 15-city Ride or Die Tour on Nov. 3 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He will headline a Hurricane Harvey relief benefit supporting the American Red Cross on Sept. 12 in Dallas.