For the past few months, Billboard has traced the progress of country superstar Sara Evans' upcoming album, "Slow Me Down." With the March 11 release date just a few weeks away, the singer says she can't wait for fans to hear the music. But, there's a lot of pieces of the record release puzzle that all have to be firmly in play for a successful release, as she tells us.
"I always tell people it's like making a movie. When you finally go to the theater to see a movie, it's been three years in the making. There's so much that goes on. For me, it's so important what songs I choose, the musicians, and the producer, who mixes the album. All of that is so important. So, it's not like getting a group of guys together and just recording music."
The most important part of making "Slow Me Down" came down to the music, as Evans says.
"Finding the song is the longest part of the process for me. Whether it be writing them or taking the time to write them. That has to happen in the middle of touring, raising kids, award shows, photo shoots, all of that stuff that I'm doing, and I have to carve two or three days to get with somebody and write a song Then, you have to demo that, get it to everybody, and then everybody taking the time to listen to it. It's just a long process."
Evans wrote three tracks from the album - "You Never Know," "Sweet Spot," and "If I Run."
But, there are other aspects of making the album -- such as the alluring cover art. Evans says that also is integral, and a part of the process that takes a great deal of discussion among her team.
"You have to figure out what photographer you want, where you want to shoot it, and there's about a week's worth of preparation just for that. My stylist has to go shopping for the shoot, I have to do a fitting. Then, there's travel. We went to LA for the photo shoot, then you get the photos done, the photographer sends them, and getting them approved. Everybody on the team has to have an opinion, and look at it."
Evans and RCA announced the album cover last month, and she says she was very pleased with how it all came down.
"I loved the idea of standing in front of the clock because of 'Slow Me Down.' We were shooting at this beach house in Malibu, and this clock was outside. We liked the way – not to sound weird – that the legs looked, thought it was sexy, but still classy. We're standing in front of the clock, it says ‘Slow Me Down,' and the legs are a part of the clock, almost. I also loved the one-sleeve sweater with the bangles, so style-wise, I thought it was cool with the fashion."
Then, there's the marketing of "Slow Me Down" to attend to, but that's where Evans draws the line. "That's not really my job," she says. "I'll do what they tell me to do, and we obviously discuss ideas, but my main focus is preparing for touring, learning the songs. All of the marketing stuff I leave to management and the label."
But, the music is all Evans. Next month, before "Slow Me Down" is released, Evans gives us a sneak peek into the album, as our series continues.