Brett Young CMA New Artist of the Year Nominee is flattered to be selected by his peers.
George Walker IV, The Tennessean
Brett Young had never killed anyone in a song. The multi-platinum selling country singer had never recorded an album with a happy heart or intentionally kept his lyrics vague so more people could relate.
Young checked all those boxes with his new album “Ticket to L.A.” that is available now. The newlywed, most known for hits including “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Mercy,” admits the list of firsts makes him nervous.
“Being in a much happier place in my life on this record, it would have been very easy to write very sappy, happy love songs and then alienate the majority of my listeners,” said Young, who built his enviable career on exposed and aching relationship songs. “I think one of the things that worked for people was the crazy amount of vulnerability on the first record, so I didn’t want that to go away.”
“Ticket to L.A.” is 13 songs deep, 10 of which Young co-wrote. His favorites include his current single, the up-tempo love song “Here Tonight”; his heart-wrenching death ballad “Don’t Wanna Write This Song”; and “Catch,” which is about a guy unexpectedly finding love in a bar.
Young wrote “Catch” with Ashley Gorley and Ross Copperman and said he thinks the ditty is just a “really good play on words.”
I thought that I’d catch a buzz, catch a game
Catch up with the boys the same old thing
Catch a cab back to my place
But then I saw your face
Now you got me trying to
Catch a ride, catch your name
Catch a spark and start a flame.
“I like the concept of a guy walking into a bar not just not looking to meet a girl, but also anti,” Young said. “It’s normally the girl who wants nothing to do with men. I like the contrast. But I also think that melody gets stuck in your head.”
The genesis for “Don’t Wanna Write This Song” dates back a decade to California. At the time, he loved the concept but was less enthusiastic about the way it came together. The night before a songwriting session with Zach Crowell and Sean McConnell, McConnell sent Young a melody that inexplicably reminded him of the old lyrics. They rewrote the song the next day, but Young still wasn’t happy with it. Later that night, the songwriters were texting ideas and Young realized what had to happen.
“I said, ‘I think she needs to die in the song,’” Young said. “You have to be careful about that, I think. We started texting lyric ideas and it just landed really hard. All of a sudden, I think it was sadder than ‘Mercy,’ and I didn’t think that was possible.”
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Young teamed with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley along with Ben Caver and Justin Ebach to write his current single and Top 25 hit “Here Tonight.” Kelley had the melody and Young said, in recognition of his tendency to write literal and complex storylines, he wanted to make sure they the songwriting group kept “Here Tonight” universal.
“We (focused) on those moments in your life that are so good and you’re so present in them that you are able, while you’re in them, to realize how good they are,” Young said. “Anybody who is lucky enough to have had moments like that will hear the song and go there immediately.”
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