Chris Stapleton Lets the Music Lead on New Album ‘From A Room: Volume 1′
Chris Stapleton has become an undeniable figure in country music, thanks to a once-in-a-decade awards show performance and the success of his breakthrough album Traveller.The follow-up, From A Room: Volume 1, drops on Friday (May 5) and Stapleton admits that it doesn't divert much from the sound on Traveller.
The selection process for songs on the album was a unique one, seeing as all of them were written before Traveller was released in 2015. Some dated back more than 10 years. "None of these songs are new, they're all dipping out of the well much like Traveller was," Stapleton tells Taste of Country and other media during a recent press event.
If I'm going to sing something, I'm going to sing it with every ounce of belief and try to put every bit of believability in a lyric that I can.
He says the process of being in the studio was a casual one, evaluating his catalogue of songs and deciding naturally which ones he wanted to record. "We very much followed the muse of the room and the moment and tried to play songs that we wanted to play," he says about making the album, which was recorded in Nashville's historic Studio A.
Stapleton was teasing new songs up until the release date, giving fans a taste of tracks like the rollocking rocker "Second One to Know," harrowing "Broken Halos" and the album's first single, a duet with wife Morgane on "Either Way," calling the project a compilation of some of his favorite songs he's written over the past decade.
"If you can write a song and then listen to it 10 years away from writing it and go 'you know, that's a pretty good song, I like that song,' then that's a pretty good indication that it's probably okay," he explains. "If it held up for you the day you wrote it and it holds up for you in a completely different segment of your life, hopefully that means it will hit more people and it will mean more to more people."
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The striking "Either Way" features painful lyrics like "I used to cry and stay up nights / And wonder what went wrong / And it's been hard but hearts can only do that / For so long." His wife Morgane, who sings backup, "always loved" the track, making her husband feel compelled to record it. "I felt led to do it," he says confidently. "And if I'm going to sing something, I'm going to sing it with every ounce of belief and try to put every bit of believability in a lyric that I can.
Stapleton admits that when Traveller debuted, he would've been happy with selling 50,000 records — but he got so much more. The album sold over 1 million copies, earned three top 20 singles and scored Stapleton a myriad of awards from the CMAs to the Grammys. While following that success may seem like an intimidating task, Stapleton says that there was no room for that kind of mentality while making From A Room.
"It would be easy to feel that way," he admits. "But about a day into getting into the studio to make records, we very much tried to put any kind of expectation or noise out to the peripheral and kind of just get back to making music for the sake of making music." And for a guy like Stapleton, it's all about the music. With no expectations holding him back, the singer was able to enter the studio with a clear head and a motto he unwaveringly lives by: "As long as the music leads then that's doing the right thing."
From a Room: Volume 1 is available now. The album earned Taste of Country's Critic's Pick. Volume 2 is set to drop later in 2017.
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