After nearly eight years, Sugarland has finally returned with a brand new full-length album. Bigger follows 2010's The Incredible Machine, and offers 11 new songs, including lead single "Still The Same," and the Taylor Swift-penned "Babe."
Sugarland's Kristian Bush exclusively tell iHeartRadio of their new album, "I'm actually just proud of the entire thing. But I am excited for people to hear what we think is fresh and new. I think there's a lot of people that ask us the question, 'Do you feel like you guys are from another country music era?' And the answer is no. I think we're right now. And that's what I'm most excited for people to hear."
Jennifer Nettles echoes, "Yeah, I do think the sounds on this record are great. I mean, I think for me, just the discovery of the messaging on this record, I am really proud of. And I'm excited for people to get to hear that and hopefully to be touched by it and to be changed by it."
Kristian and Jennifer decided to call the album Bigger, not only because of its title track, but because of the messages on the record. Nettles explains, "We decided to call this album Bigger, because as we started to really look at the collection of songs that we had started writing, it became clear to us that because of the messaging on this album, it was bigger than us. And we are bigger than the sum of our parts and that there is a bigger, higher message on this record."
Sugarland wrote Bigger in "a little writing studio in New York," more specifically "in a little corner." In fact, Kristian tells us, "I think that the moments that really stood out for me from a writing perspective, are just these memories of sitting back and forth between a chair and the floor, and then back to a chair and then back to the floor." And Jennifer agrees saying, "Yeah, I think that's a pretty iconic [memory] for me also, and image really, of what it was to write this record."
The duo explains that although their favorite songs change from day to day, a few of the tracks they named include "Bigger," "Tuesday's Broken," and "Bird In A Cage."
The lead single from Bigger, "Still The Same," tells the story of a two people reuniting and moving forward together -- a perfect song to release as their first together in years. Kristian explained of the inspiration behind the song, "The best story is the story that's the truth. So, that's what it's like. We've always kind of done that. From 'Baby Girl' to the truth of 'God, is this ever going to work? How many times do we have to try, and if it does work ever, which probably from here it won't, could we ever pay our parents back?' Why wouldn't we sit, years later, next to each other and say 'What does this feel like? And there was magic there. right? Yeah, oh my gosh, it's still the same.'"
The next single Sugarland released from Bigger is "Babe," which was co-written by Taylor Swift (who is the only feature on the album) and Train's Pat Monahan, and is about a relationship gone bad. In the chorus, Nettles and Swift sing, "How could you do this babe?/ You really blew this babe/ We ain't gettin' through this one babe/ This is the last time I'll ever you babe."
In an exclusive interview with iHeartRadio, Sugarland explained how "Babe" came to life:
"It started to get around that we were gonna be working together again; that Sugarland was gonna come back and do something together again. And, when that happened, Scott Borchetta reached out to us, and said, 'Taylor is excited about what you're doing, and she has a song that she would like for you guys to record, or to play, or to hear, or to consider.' You know, all these things. And, we're like, (gasps) okay. We really don't wanna mess this up. So, we listened to it and loved it, and then wanted to do it in the studio to see what might happen. And, luckily, we liked what it was."
They added, "It came out just fantastic. I would not have known that there is so much inside that song until we actually put it in our hands and into microphones. And, we were like, 'Wow.' And, then she loved it, which was then an added bonus. When you play another artist's song, especially for us, that we haven't had another artist's song on our records because we love to write so much. So, to have that, it's a lovely part of the album.