Josh Lovelace Shares Fatherhood-Inspired 'You've Got Me and I've Got You': Premiere

Josh Lovelace
Mary Caroline Russell 

Josh Lovelace

With Needtobreathe taking a bit of a breath, the group's Josh Lovelace is back to making music for the whole family with his second solo album, Growing Up, whose gentle opening track "You've Got Me and I've Got You" is premiering exclusively below.

While 2017's first foray Young Folk was "a musical love letter to my kids," Lovelace tells Billboard, Growing Up -- due out July 26 -- shows some, well, growth in his ambitions toward family music. "That experience inspired me to want to dig a little deeper into the family experience and also just the human experience, the things you go through whether you're a kid or adult," he explains. "So this record tackles some of those harder issues -- hopefully still with some playfulness and a little bit of an elementary take on it, but definitely asking some tough questions that I feel as a parent it could be useful to navigate."

It's a bit more loaded to be a parent in 2019, in other words, and Lovelace -- who has a five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter -- acknowledges that several of Growing Up's 12 songs are "a reflection of the world we live in right now, where there's a lot of stuff going on that don't make you feel secure. You're not sure what's going to happen next. As a parent I'm asking, 'How can I make my child feel safe? How can I make my child feel loved?' I want to be somebody who's a parent, who's vulnerable and not sugarcoating anything. Because this is my second time in, I feel a little bit of a responsibility to families everywhere that they should get something that's not only engaging for the child but challenging for the parents."

"You've Got Me and I've Got You," then, is intended as a firm message of support and security, a kind of lullaby to assure his, and all, children that someone has their back. "It came out of an honest situation; A lot of parents can relate to a dark room and the kid is scared. What can you do? The best thing is to turn on the light for a second and try to calm them down and show them the room. And there's a verse about when the water's deep that came from literally being at the pool and my son wanted to jump off the diving board and was scared and just needed a little encouragement.

"So that's what the song is, to all kids and parents -- you don't have to do this yourself. You've got me. I'm in it for you, and I've got you through it. We almost used that for the title of the record, 'cause it kind of encompassed the whole thing."

Lovelace and the rest of Needtobreathe are taking time for their own projects after wrapping up a major tour earlier this year. But the group also has a follow-up to 2016's Hard Love already in motion. "We're pumped," Lovelace reports. "There's a lot of stuff we're sifting through. The (new) songs are some of the best stuff Needtobreathe has done yet, so we're really excited to get those things out into the universe. We're at the stage where anything goes, and we're excited. We're a band that takes a long time to make records, but I think it's a really inspiring time for us, and a lot of fun."