After a recent performance in New York, Little Big Town explained the importance of showcasing their live sound on the new album. In order to channel their live performance, the band came into the studio at 6 p.m. to record as if they were rehearsing for a performance later that night.
"We just wanted to do something different. That was our producer's idea, Jay Joyce," Kimberly Schlapman said. "He wanted us to come in like we were playing a show and to have the energy and a little bit pressure like it is to put on a show. He wanted us to sing it live and put us on the spot a little bit. That was his idea and it worked like a charm."
Each of the eleven tracks embodies the vigor of their live show and the band says it's a new side to Little Big Town.
"I think it's just a bolder, bigger, more confident sound from us," Phillip Sweet said. "It's unapologetic and just honest."
With a different recording process, Little Big Town was more confident in the songs they were singing.
"This time, we were right at that perfect point. We were nervous because we didn't know them great but we knew them enough to phrase them and sing them," Karen Fairchild said. "Not that we haven't on past records, but there was a different energy in the room because you had to think, yet you knew them enough to be free a little bit. I loved that whole process. I thought it was so good for us."
On "Tornado" Little Big Town alternated between using outside writers and co-writing the tracks themselves. While sometimes the songs they wrote resonated better, that wasn't always the case.
"Sometimes a song can reach you and it can speak something that you want to communicate. You can also emote," Sweet said before Schlapman jumped in.
"Like it does to listeners," she said. "Listeners relate to songs that they don't write but they live those songs. That's like us. When we record a song, yes we can relate to it because we've lived it but we don't have to write the song to be able to sing it."
The band didn't write poignant ballad "Sober," but Fairchild said it's something they all resonate with.
"Like 'Pontoon.' We didn't write that, but we've owned it," Schlapman added.
And that they have so, are they worried about a follow up to their career first No. 1?
"Crazy worried," Fairchild admitted. "The fear would be that we love this record so much and we're so proud of it and we think the songs should be heard, that if somehow they wouldn't be would be a tragedy. So that next step we just want to make sure we pick a song that will allow the listeners to hear the whole record."