Four-song release will set up the singer's fifth full-length, a "70s disco-pop record" out next spring.
It's been three years since Jesse McCartney prepped his final effort on Hollywood Records, but the pop singer-songwriter is finally returning with a new label and a fresh, throwback sound. On Dec. 10, McCartney will release "In Technicolor Part 1," a new four-song EP highlighted by the previously released single "Back Together," Billboard can exclusively reveal.
"I've been busy, but I'm finally ready to release some new music," McCartney tells Billboard. "More than anything, [the EP] is just a preview of what the full-length is going to be next year. I want to put something out for the fans -- they've been more than patient. And I wanted to give them a taste of [new music], because the style of the new album is so different from the previous album."
Over the course of a decade-long solo career, the 26-year-old vocalist has collected 8 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including the Top 10 single "Leavin'," which went to No. 10. Following a quick detour into the acting world after 2010's "Have It All" -- which never actually made it to retail -- McCartney returned last August with "Back Together," a stylish, Motown-influenced new single that has sold 24,000 downloads to date according to Nielsen SoundScan and introduced a more adult sound to his longtime fans.
McCartney says that "In Technicolor Part 1" will expand upon the sonic vibe and romantic undertones of "Back Together." "In my mind, we're all on this planet for one reason, and that's to find somebody to share your life with, that sees you for what you're worth," he says. "I feel like that's what colors your world, and everything else is black and white. When 'In Technicolor' was written, it sounded like a really strong title that would set up the rest of the songs on the album, which really deal with the ins and outs of my relationships with women."
That album, which McCartney hopes to release "in April or May" of next year, will rely heavily on live instrumentation and will draw inspiration from Michael Jackson and Kool & The Gang. "We wanted to make it sound like an authentic 70s disco-pop record," McCartney shares. The as-yet-untitled release will be McCartney's first on his own label, Eight0Eight Records, which will issue the full-length in partnership with INGrooves distribution.
"It's been amazing and very liberating," says McCartney of his new label set-up. "I enjoyed being with Hollywood Records -- I was with them for 10 years, and I made a lot of amazing relationships -- but at this point in my career, it just felt like it made a lot more sense to do it all in-house and on my own."
In a few weeks, McCartney will whittle down the final track list and select the first single to his next album. Until then, the singer will support "In Technicolor Part 1" with a performance at the 2013 American Music Awards pre-show on Nov. 24, after performing on the Backstreet Boys' 'In A World Like This' tour earlier this year.