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Lainey Wilson Wanted Authenticity on "Bell Bottom Country," So She Wrote 300 Songs To Get It

Lainey Wilson's "Bell Bottom Country" is out now.

With back-to-back No. 1 hits and two songs on country radio now – "Wait in the Truck" and "Heart Like a Truck" – Lainey Wilson's career is in the fast lane, and she isn't hitting the breaks.

Wilson's second album, "Bell Bottom Country," is out today and is home to "Heart Like a Truck" and a slew of other songs that celebrate the Louisiana native's individuality.

"It's country with a flare," Wilson explained. "I'm so excited. I feel like I've just grown so much as a songwriter, as a singer, but also just as a person over the last few years and really figuring out who I am."

Wilson's "Things A Man Oughta Know" won song of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year, and she has six nominations heading into the CMA Awards in November. While her music and personality have been wholeheartedly embraced by country music, she said "Bell Bottom Country" exposes her heart even more.

"It's about finding whatever it is that makes you special and unique," she said. "The thing that makes you, you -- it could be where you from, how you were raised, the way that you talk, the way that you look. Whatever it is, it's about finding that and leaning into it as much as you possibly can. And that's what this record is."

She sings about her family and was inspired by her family and relationships on "Bell Bottom Country." There's heartfelt songs ("Those Boots (Deddy's Song)") and barnburners like "Grease." "Grease" is a fun, light-hearted sexy song inspired by her mother's phrase, "Now we're cooking with grease."

"I feel like those are little sayings that I cannot escape," Wilson told Today's Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country. "Certain things that my family said growing up, it just somehow makes its way into my music."

She said those who listen to the record will often hear her sing about her parents and the Lord.

"It somehow just makes its way into it, and I just can't even help it," she said. "It's [taken] me a long time to feel [like I'm a grown woman], but I am feeling it. I'm like, 'You dang right; I'm grown. I can say what I want to say. This is it.' ('Grease') just a fun song. To me, it's just a blue-collar couple love song. It's kind of almost like Dirty Looks 2.0… With a little more heat on it."

Wilson's father suffered a near-fatal illness earlier this year, and while he has recovered enough to escort her to the CMA Awards, he still has a long way to go. Wilson said he's a man of few words, but she could tell he was touched when he heard "Those Boots (Deddy's Song)."

"What really sparked the song is, growing up, me and my family, we lived in this uninsulated house, and instead of adding on like a normal person would do, [my parents] bought a portable building and cut out the side of it and attached that thing to the house," Wilson said. "So me and my sister were living in the trailer. We'd run in the house. Anyway, I remember every morning, before Deddy would go to work ... I remember he would holler my name, and I would run from the portable building into the house and I would help him pull his blue jeans down over the top of his boots. That was just my job as a little girl."

Wilson said it made her feel like she was doing something to help and that when she reflected on the memory, it inspired the song.

A messy relationship inspired "Weak End," she said.

"I was going through a heartbreak, messing with a boy I shouldn't have been messing with," she told Bannen. "Lord have mercy. Now he's still writing me letters. I'm like … 'Sir, don't touch my mailbox again,' and I hope he's listening to this, too. 'Unless you want to go to jail.' But I'm glad he knows he messed up now."

Wilson said she was struggling and "torn up" and was in a bad place but decided to take advantage of the feeling.

"I just felt weak, and I just started thinking about the double entendre of weekend," she said. "And I brought it to my friends, Nicolette [Hayford] and Faren [Rachels], and Nicolette kind of had this melody going on the piano. She does not sleep at night, so she's just up all night coming up with this. And she was like, 'This is something that I came up with last night.' She just started singing something, and I was like, 'I think I've got the perfect idea for that melody.' And it just kind of fell out. It just floated."

Wilson wrote more than 300 songs for the album because she wanted to ensure that "Bell Bottom Country" is a step up from her beloved debut. She couldn't be happier with what they created.

"We were locked and loaded when it came to having enough to choose from," she said. "I feel like I've just grown so much, not just as a singer and songwriter, but also just as a person. And I feel like I'm just, every day I'm figuring out a little bit more about myself, and I'm so thankful that I have been able to start off on the right foot with being nothing but me. Because I cannot imagine doing this for the rest of my life and pretending that I am something other than this, and that's what this record's about. It's about leaning into whatever it is that makes you you."

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