There's a reason Dierks Bentley has been sporting a mountain man look recently.

The singer's ninth studio album, The Mountain, is slated for later this year. The project is a departure for Bentley, although not to the extent of Up on the Ridge, his bluegrass album from 2010.

The album was inspired by Bentley's performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2017. He returned to Telluride on a songwriter's retreat with Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley, and as he tells NPR, Bentley wrote and recorded most of The Mountain there last year. The end result will have a Western feel to it, he says, although a snippet of the title track falls very much in line with what he's been working toward on recent albums including Home, Riser and Black.

"What I said to the musicians was, 'Look around you. Look at the mountains,'" he tells NPR. "'I can't verbalize this. Just go for a hike, take the gondola, get some coffee, walk around town, take in the vibe of this location. That's what I need you to make the record sound like.'"

No specific details about the remaining songs on The Mountain have been revealed, although the 42-year-old indicated he would release the first single in January. The album is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed, gold-certified Black, which featured hits in "Somewhere on a Beach," "Different for Girls" and "Black."

Last month Bentley shared two new songs, "Burning Man" and "Living" with fans at a concert in Las Vegas. It was a quiet fall for him on social media until he recently began teasing this new project.

The Mountain is currently available for pre-order via Fans who pre-order the album will receive a key to The Mountain that will unlock extra tracks, bonus videos, special merchandise and VIP experiences with Bentley on his 2018 tour.

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