Five years is a long time away from the studio, just ask Keifer and Shawna Thompson.
But taking a breather can be a very good thing, and for this CMA-winning duo, the decision couldn’t have come for a better reason: their son, Cooper.
“We always hear, ‘Where’ve you guys been? We thought you quit!’ or ‘What’s been going on?’” Keifer told CMT.com during a recent chat.
“Some of the time that we’ve been ‘gone’ was just trying to process every second of Cooper’s two years of life. That was more important to us than everything else.”
But that was just part of the story. During the transition at home, they also became an independent duo, parting ways on good terms with their long-time label Stoney Creek Records. Keifer described the time leading up to the break to be a place where “nothing was really happening anymore” for the duo.
“We asked out of that situation and somehow got out, which is very, very difficult to do. They let us out and didn’t want to hold us back and we thank them for that. It allowed us to at least fight for ourselves.”
Which is exactly what these two did. When the time was right to get back at it, they put their heads together and dug deep into the archives of their vast influences, the music and the moments that made them who they are and that is the lane they pursued. Armed with a new perspective and mission plan, they headed back into the studio for the first time since 2013, full of renewed creativity and ready to do things on their terms.
“We had the opportunity to go in and do everything exactly the way we want to do it,” Shawna said. “From picking the songs to picking the producers and being able to produce a couple of the tracks ourselves, there were so many things that we haven’t been able to do in the past.”
Working with A-list producers Dan Huff (Keith Urban) and Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift), the duo wanted to make something that reflected their diversity as artists and their experiences and changes as a growing partnership and family. There’s a reggae song, a pop song, country songs, uplifting moments, hard subject matter dealing with family—essentially, it’s about life and the life they’ve created for themselves.
“I think what the record embodies is us being the best version of ourselves, up to date. And a lot of that has to do with Cooper,” Keifer revealed. “’Masterpiece’ was written about him. And it ended up being the title track to the record and seems to be everyone’s favorite song so far.”
“Everything about this record is us,” he added. “Every inch, every fiber of it is us. It’s just life, it’s been our life for the last five years.”
And we only have to wait one more day to get the full catch-up story. Thompson Square’s Masterpiece is officially out June 1st.