The first single from Granger Smith's upcoming next album, "Happens Like That," is more progressive than anything he's previously released to country radio, but the country star says the project contains a wide range of material.

Smith worked with Florida Georgia Line singer Tyler Hubbard along with Jordan Schmidt, Justin Wilson and Andy Albert on the new track, which definitely stretches him in a more mainstream direction than his two previous national radio hits from Remington, "Backroad Song" and "If the Boot Fits." That song was written as part of a batch of six during a writing spree while on the road, and Smith tells Taste of Country that at least one more of their collaborations is likely to see release on the project, which will feature a mix of more progressive songs as well as tracks that are more reminiscent of what he's already released.

"There's moments of that, there's probably lots more moments of what you might expect from me, and then there's moments on the flip side that maybe are something that you didn't expect but also don't match up sonically with 'Happens Like That,'" he relates. "That's all by design. I always want the albums to be a roller coaster, with peaks and valleys. I don't want it to be a monotone feel."

Smith's most recent album, Remington, was a huge national breakthrough for the heretofore Texas-based artist, and he acknowledges that he has a lot riding on the follow-up. He tells Taste of Country seven tracks are currently complete, with 10 more recorded but not yet mastered. There's also one more song to cut before he and his team try to cull those tracks down to the final album track list.

"The hardest part of this whole thing is going to be excluding a few of my favorites," he shares. "Every time I make an album, a couple of songs I really like don't make it, and I say, 'I'm going to re-visit this.' And then the next album comes, and I've already moved on," he adds with a laugh.

See Granger Smith + More at 2017 CRS New Faces Show