"Most of the songs I recorded are songs I found from outside. I'm not at the point where I care anymore if I wrote 'em or not. It's really about the song, not who writes it"
With a fourth single, "Anywhere With You," currently climbing the country charts from his chart-topping third album "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," Jake Owen is eyeing a December release for his next album.
"I'm in the middle of almost wrapping it up, actually," Owen tells Billboard. "I've recorded about eight or 12 songs that are great. It's just feel-good, kind of the same thing I do, man. Just good-time, good-feeling songs. That's the best way to put it."
Owen hopes to have the set's first single out in July, and he's already started previewing some of the new tunes live, including "Beachin'," which he calls "a 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' sister song,' and "Days of Gold," which he says is also under consideration for the album's title. And as on "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" he's opened the doors for outside writers' songs.
"I wrote everything on my first two albums, and on 'Barefoot' I pretty much chose a lot of stuff I liked, whether I wrote it or not, and that's what I'm doing on this (new) record," Owen explains. "I've been fortunate with songwriters giving me great songs. It's hard to turn down awesome songs by other people. Most of the songs I recorded are songs I found from outside, in fact. I'm not at the point where I care anymore if I wrote 'em or not. It's really about the song, not who writes it."
Owen says he's aware there will be high expectations after the success of "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and even last year's stopgap EP "Endless Summer," but he finds he actually finds that encouraging.
"As much pressure as it might seem like, it also takes a lot of pressure off," he explains. "Radio stations know if you've had three No. 1 (singles) in a row you've got some momentum going and people want to hear what's next. It's actually kind of worked itself out; I mean, this is my eighth year of touring in a tour bus and playing shows and shows and shows. When it starts pay off and people start seeing you've put a lot of time and effort and growth into what you're doing, you get a lot more respect and things start happening. I've got to tell you it feels so good now to be in this place in my life, where people are paying attention."
While he's finishing the fourth album, Owen will also maintain a full summer tour schedule, including a number of festival appearances and a slot opening for Jason Aldean.