NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The short hiatus country vocal trio Lady Antebellum announced in 2015 kept them apart for longer than they had been in a decade. Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley went in different directions on their solo albums, while Dave Haywood honed his skills as a producer.
So when they did reunite in the studio last year, they spent as much time together as possible.
“We lived together for two months pretty much, half of it in Florida and half of the other time we wrote and recorded in Los Angeles,” Scott, 30, said.
“Dave cooked for us,” Kelley, 35, said.
“And all kinds of craft cocktails,” Haywood, 34, added.
“It was like adult summer camp,” Kelley said.
On Thursday, the Grammy-winning vocal group released a new single, “You Look Good,” from their forthcoming album “Heart Break,” coming out June 9, which is their first new album since their 2014 album, “747.” The single mixes a dazzling horn section with a swaggering bass riff that reflects the band’s sun-filled days in the Hollywood Hills and white sand beaches of Florida.
“I think we wrote half the record, the majority of half the record, in three or four days when we were down in Florida,” Kelley said.
“Nine songs in four days,” Scott said.
The time apart, however brief, was just the reset the band needed after a decade of grinding through five studio albums and numerous arena tours. Following major success early on with their multi-platinum hit crossover song and album “Need You Now,” the trio that formed in their 20s became accustomed to writing songs together on the road and quickly recording during breaks at home in Nashville.
“Writing while you’re touring, which we’ve done a lot, after a while can become a little tiresome,” Haywood said.
Kelley said writing that way felt disjointed.
“You’re always having to write in little chunks,” Kelley said. “So you’ll start a song, then you’ll do the next verse after a little while and then you’ve got to go somewhere and do a meet and greet.”
But living together for weeks on end without the pressure of performing every weekend and away from the daily demands of Music City enabled them to explore more challenging musical material. It also helped to have a demanding producer in busbee, who has been producing pop and R&B-influenced country records with Maren Morris and Keith Urban.
“He just pushed us, vocally and lyrically,” Kelley said. “I got really frustrated with him at times and that’s what he loves. He cherished every time I would argue against him.”
This year, they’ll embark on their next world tour, which starts in May in Bakersfield, California, and will take them to Canada, Europe and South Africa. For the first time, all three singers will be bringing along their children for parts of the tour.
“It’s so much fun watching them play with each other and sometimes share, sometimes not,” said Haywood.
But the band says it’s too early to tell if their kids have inherited their musical talents. Kelley’s son Ward is almost 1, while Scott’s daughter is 3.
“Eisele can sing,” Kelley said of Scott’s daughter. “She’s got good pitch. I don’t know about Ward. He’ll be a roadie.”