Today, ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town – consisting of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook – release their new, 10th studio album Mr. Sun – listen here.
The band also unveiled the music video for “Three Whiskeys and the Truth,” which was directed by Running Bear Film’s Stephen & Alexa Kinigopoulos – watch here. Immediately following the video’s premiere today, the band went live exclusively on YouTube Premium for a livestreamed afterparty to answer fan questions about the new album.
“Three Whiskeys and the Truth” was written by Fairchild and Schlapman alongside their beloved Love Junkies (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose), ruminating on the feelings that hide in the dark but that always come to the surface somehow. “Lori had that title, and I just love how it tells the story of what we do to numb the pain we’re going through,” Fairchild says, recalling a long day of writing. “And the melody makes it feel like an old school country song like the ones we grew up with.”
The band kicked off the album’s release on Wednesday, September 14 with a stirring performance of “Rich Man” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – watch here – in addition to flexing their comedic chops in the show’s Cold Open – watch here.
On the eve of the record’s release last night, the band took to Twitter for an #AskLBT Album Q&A with the fans about the record, including the message they want to give fans from the album: “This record was written during the pandemic, so a spirit of gratefulness ties all these songs together. Even the painful songs lead us to better days ahead.”
Fans can engage in the album launch through multiple social media activations, including using the hashtag #MrSun on Twitter to reveal album’s official Twitter emoji and a custom Mr. Sun Instagram filter that went live with the album’s release, which can be found on the filter tab of LBT’s Instagram profile.
This morning, they took the stage at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza in front of hundreds of fans for the 2022 Citi Concert Series on TODAY, performing a mix of new songs – “All Summer” and “Rich Man,” both of which New York Magazine has praised as “exuberant” – and classic LBT hits (“Wine, Beer Whiskey” and “Little White Church”). Watch their performance of “All Summer” here and “Rich Man” here, and their interviews about the record here and here.
Additional praise for Mr. Sun includes The New York Times hailing it “a sweeping record” and American Songwriter observes that “inside the record, notes reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles ring out, but they’re all tailored to Little Big Town’s country expertise.” Rolling Stone calls it “smooth and sweet, with just the right undercurrent of sadness,” with production that feels “spacious and golden.”
Billboard singles out the album’s “swelling” closing track “Friends of Mine,” as a “benediction to finding the collective strength to persevere through tough times,” while Rolling Stone further ties it to the full record: “Like much of Mr. Sun, it feels like a warm embrace from a loved one.”
The album’s lead single “Hell Yeah” has amassed 49.8 million streams since its April release. The song was co-written by Sweet, Westbrook, Corey Crowder and Tyler Hubbard. Of its creation, Westbrook notes: “Corey dropped that hook idea on us, and we all gave a resounding hell yeah! At that point, you just don’t want to mess it up.”
Physical copies of Mr. Sun are available as CDs and a baby blue vinyl; a sky blue vinyl is available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.
The genesis of Mr. Sun was unlike any of their previous albums. Due to the pandemic, the band found themselves off the road and apart for the first time ever throughout their 20-year journey. The resilience and creativity born from those months unearthed a deep appreciation for both one another, and the privilege of making music – ultimately inspiring the self-produced Mr. Sun, which packs both the sparkle of storytelling and the heat of truth-telling in a way only Little Big Town can.
“Mr. Sun is intentionally an emotional record that holds hands well with our last album Nightfall,” Fairchild has previously shared. “Mr. Sun is focused on better days ahead, the value of friendships and family; it touches on heartbreak and letting go, but it’s full of sunshine and joy.”
Little Big Town spent all summer bringing their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. This fall, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour in Duluth, GA (October 14) and Huntsville, AL (October 15). For more news, tour dates, and information, please visit www.LittleBigTown.com.
Mr. Sun Track List:
- All Summer (Karen Fairchild, Sara Buxton, Madi Diaz, Ashley Ray, Savana Santos, Alysa Vanderheym)
- Better Love (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Tofer Brown, Audra Mae)
- Hell Yeah (Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Corey Crowder, Tyler Hubbard)
- Mr. Sun (Sarah Buxton, Daniel Tashian)
- Three Whiskeys and the Truth (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
- One More Song (Tofer Brown, Sean McConnell)
- Heaven Had a Dance Floor (Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure)
- Gold (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Trent Dabbs, Luke Dick)
- Rich Man (Jimi Westbrook)
- God Fearing Gypsies (Karen Fairchild, Nicolette Hayford, Ashley Ray)
- Different Without You (Corey Crowder, Jared Mullins, Steven Lee Olsen, Jordan Schmidt)
- Whiskey Colored Eyes (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
- Song Back (Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Todd Clark, Sara Haze, Jason Saenz)
- Something Strong (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, Liz Rose)
- Last Day On Earth (Karen Fairchild, Trent Dabbs, Tommy English)
- Friends of Mine (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Foy Vance)
LBT (pandemic recording) OC: …their worries. 1:54
Karen: “This record was made during the pandemic, and kinda the time where we were coming in and out of the pandemic., so, it was challenging. It was challenging to be away from each other as a band for almost five months. It was challenging to be writing songs by ourselves, writing songs on Zoom, and then finally getting the courage to get back in the studio and, that was a great joy just to be back together with our band guys and our engineers, very emotional that day. I think we started working on All Summer first and was just such a joyful tune., that it really just, I don’t know it lit our souls up just being back together making music again with the hope of getting it out to fans this record is really intended to share that joy that you know we’ve learned a lot of lessons in these last couple years. We learned that we can be very divisive as people, as a country, but we also can focus on the things that are the most important. We can look for better days ahead, we can celebrate the friends and family that we have. We can be grateful for the journey I think Godfearing Gypsies is one that really is like a mantra for this band. So, yeah, I’m really proud of the ways this, the beauty in our own personal lives, the way it weaves through this record. Even for songs like Gold, such a fun crazy little number that you know, it’s just like a ruckus, joyful song and it’s intended to make people dance and kind of forget their worries.”