Carly Pearce went through upheaval, grief and pain to create her next collection of songs, 29. The project traces a period of Carly’s life marked by the sudden loss of her mentor and producer, busbee, followed by a very public divorce from fellow country star Michael Ray.
“Losing busbee was a jolt,” Carly says in a video trailer for 29. “He was my champion before anyone believed.”
As Carly’s longtime producer, busbee also co-wrote her 2017 breakout hit, “Every Little Thing.” He worked with Carly through the process of making her 2020 self-titled sophomore project, but died in September of 2019 after being diagnosed with brain cancer just a short time beforehand.
“Then came the divorce -- something I never saw coming,” Carly continues. She officially filed for divorce in June of 2020, just eight months after she and Michael tied the knot.
“In that grief, I started swimming to save myself from the sadness, then realized I’d found something even deeper,” the singer continues. “29 came from that recognition. I got back to myself, to my roots, to my truth, and then the songs just kept spilling out.”
29 features some familiar song titles, including Carly’s empowering current single, “Next Girl,” as well as her powerful remembrance of busbee, “Show Me Around.” The singer has also previously teased unreleased snippets of a couple more tracks, “Messy” and “Should’ve Known Better.”
The other, as-yet-unheard, songs on 29 are called “29,” “Liability” and “Day One,” the latter of which was co-written by Old Dominion singer Matthew Ramsey. Carly had a hand in penning every track on the project.
29 is due out on Feb. 19, but you can pre-save it now.
By Carena Liptak
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