Caitlyn Smith is no stranger to mainstream country music success — she's written songs for Meghan Trainor, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, to name a couple — and even enjoyed some radio spotlight of her own with her Old Dominion duet, "I Can't." But in her current musical chapter, Smith says she's chasing something a little deeper.

"Honestly, my focus is making music that's true to me," Smith told Taste of Country at the 2022 CMA Awards in November. The singer is gearing up for the release of Low, a counterpoint to spring 2022's High, which will collectively serve as her High & Low album.

"I don't like to get in the studio and put on a hat and think, 'Does this fit on radio?' Because I think it just steals away some of my magic when I have to think, 'What does somebody else wanna hear?'" she explains. "So that's been the goal of this record, to cut out the voices and make music that's true. Wherever it fits, man, that's where it is."

Fittingly, High & Low explores the duality of human expression, tracing both the "highlights reel" that gets shared on social media and the deeper currents that run, more privately, through everyday life.

"I realized I'm really comfortable with showing my 'high' side," Smith continues. "But it's a little scarier for me in person to really talk about the lows, and own it. And through the last year, I have really realized that there is strength in being real, strength in being vulnerable, and ... we got 'em both. Nobody lives in the highs."

@caitlynsmithmusic New year, new music… #lately #newmusicalert #youvebeenonmymind #countrysingersongwriter ♬ original sound - caitlynsmith

As she readies that new music, Smith says she's proud of how the project digs deeper than ever, showcasing more of a real and raw side of her musicality than she's ever shared before.

"I feel like I'm kinda wading into a space of vulnerability," the singer notes. "I'm digging in deeper. So I'm really proud of it and excited for people to hear it."

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