Everything We Know About Sugarland’s New Album, ‘Bigger’
After releasing five albums together, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush parted ways in 2012 to focus on their solo careers. However, the award-winning duo thrilled fans when they made an unexpected appearance at the 2017 CMA Awards and hinted at an upcoming reunion -- and fans were even more excited when, a day later, an email from Big Machine Label Group told members of the media that, yes, new music really was coming.
The year 2018 will be a big one for Sugarland, it seems. Read on to learn everything there is to know about their upcoming new album.
Sugarland's new album will be titled Bigger. The Tennessean revealed the news on March 30.
The Release Date
Bigger is due out on June 8.
The Record Label
Big Machine Label Group shared the official announcement about Sugarland's upcoming album, but the release will be a joint one, through both BMLG and Universal Music Nashville. The duo was signed with UMG Nashville before their hiatus.
The Album Cover
The album artwork for Bigger just feels big. Sugarland unveiled the cover, which readers can see above, on April 6.
Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles co-produced Bigger with Julian Raymond.
On Dec. 21, Sugarland released their first single in five years; titled "Still the Same," the song officially impacted country radio in early 2018. "Still the Same" finds Sugarland reflecting, "And here we are / We've come so far / Let's leave it better then how we came / Don't be afraid to change / Our love is still the same, still the same, still the same." Although it's a love song, "Still the Same" has a perfect message for a "comeback single" following the duo's years-long break.
“We are thrilled for fans to hear our new music, especially this new single,” says Nettles in a press release. “The title of the song is so meaningful to us as we want fans to know, we are still the same, we are still the same Sugarland they’ve known and loved."
Adds Bush, "We want to finish where we left off. We always knew were going to make music again, so this has been the best of both worlds. We were able to take time to feed our personal passions, and we're excited to come back together to create music as a band again."
Sugarland shared their second single from Bigger on April 20. The song is called "Babe," and it features and was co-written by Taylor Swift. She penned it with Train lead singer Pat Monahan, and it's the only song on the album that the duo did not write; the country-turned-pop superstar approached them about recording the song when she learned that they were reuniting.
"[S]he was excited we were getting back together and reached out, and said, 'Hey, I have a song,'" Nettles says. "And that is a short list, ladies and gentleman, of people to whom she has said, 'Hey, I have a song. Wanna sing it?' So we said yes."
As for the subject of the song, Nettles and Bush say they "don't know" and "didn't ask her" who or what inspired the track.
“I'm going to close my mouth and let her tell that story -- I'm going to let the song tell that story,” Nettles says. "She’s very confessional in what she does with her songwriting. She lives her life out there through it, and you will see.”
Bush says it's a big deal for Sugarland to record someone else's song: "We've never really put a song by anybody else on any of our records, so we weren't really used to sorting through that, and we didn't want to mess it up," he shares. "So we didn't tell anybody about it until we got finished. And she liked it, thank God. It is a good song."
Sugarland pulled one song for their new album -- a track called “Love Me Like I’m Leaving,” written with Tim Owens -- from their back catalog, the Tennessean reports. The rest of the record's tracks were written from August 2017 onward.
“I think there’s something with Sugarland that is a higher calling,” Nettles says. “What we’ve been writing for this new record, it is clear we had things inside of us that we felt the world needed to hear. I think translating that pain into hope is something that Sugarland does really well.”
Bush and Nettles completed the songs for the album in early 2018, and the record itself was recorded by the end of February. There's one called "On a Roll" that the pair recorded in New York City in the fall; another, "Tuesday's Broken," was inspired by news of a school shooting.
“This is not about whether you should have a gun or not,” Bush explains. “It’s about, ‘What do you tell a kid?’ It’s a whole different conversation."
Adds Nettles, "It’s a fantastic litmus for any issue."
Sugarland, Bigger Track Listing:
1. “Bigger” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
2. “On a Roll” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
3. “Let Me Remind You” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
4. “Mother” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
5. “Still the Same” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
6. “Lean It on Back” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
7. “Babe (feat. Taylor Swift)” | Taylor Swift, Pat Monahan
8. “Bird in a Cage” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
9. “Love Me Like I’m Leaving” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles, Tim Owens
10. “Tuesday’s Broken” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
11. “Not the Only” | Kristian Bush, Jennifer Nettles
On Jan. 3, Sugarland shared the first details of their 2018 Still the Same Tour on Twitter; although no dates were announced, the duo revealed a total of 48 cities in which their Still the Same Tour will stop throughout 2018. Sugarland's 2018 tour destinations include Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles, Calif; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; and more.
More New Albums Coming in 2018