Morgan Wallen’s new album, One Thing at a Time, is a family affair.
His sister Ashlyne and his two-year-old son, Indie, both participated in the making of the 36-track set, which Wallen and producer Joey Moi previewed in Los Angeles on Feb. 3. The project comes out March 3 via Republic/Mercury Big Loud, while his last album, Dangerous: The Double Album, still sits in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart 107 weeks after its release.
Ashlyne, who is 15 months younger than Wallen, sings harmony on “Outlook.” “We’ve always been super, super tight,” Wallen said. “We grew up in church singing hymns and stuff and learning how to harmonize with each other and sing three-part harmony.” The song, Wallen says, is one of the first he ever wrote and addresses faith, “so it seemed appropriate from everything that we grew up learning and everything that we lived through together.” He also wanted his youngest sister, Mikaela, on the record, but she had just given birth so the timing didn’t work out.
Wallen’s son, Indie, who was born in July 2020, was a frequent studio visitor. “He started coming in there and banging on guitar strings and, you know, delete songs for Joey and stuff like that,” Wallen said with a laugh. “But honestly, he brought a lot of joy into the room. He brought a new energy that we hadn’t had in there before.” By the end of the recording, Indie was frequently in Moi’s lap at the console, turning knobs.
The pair spent four months in the studio and while the intention wasn’t to surpass Dangerous’s 30 tracks, “the songs just kind of naturally came in,” said Wallen, who co-wrote 14 of the songs.
“It seemed like the more we cut, the more songs would show up,” said Moi. “So it just kept piling up,” he said, adding that at one point they cut the track list down from 42 songs.
The playback included 11 tracks bookended by album opener “Born With a Beer In My Hand” and album closer “Dyin’ Man.” Wallen has already released three tracks, “Last Night,” “Everything I Love” and “I Wrote the Book.”
The album brings in Wallen’s musical influences spanning country, alternative and hip-hop. From the songs played, the three influences subtly intertwine with each other through rap beats and rock guitar work. Wallen also talked about his biggest inspirations in each of the genres, including country superstar Eric Church, who appears on the record, alternative act The War on Drugs and rapper T.I.
Wallen’s studio involvement has become greater with each set. “The first record, in a budding career [from a] new artist is weird, you kind of get stripped of all your time to make the record, so we really panicked our way through that one,” Moi says. “He was on tour, and then we would cut the songs together in the studio, and then he’d go off on tour. I’d squirrel away and work on the music getting ready for him to come back. He’d sing like six songs in one day. It was that process. Second record, we were able to engineer the calendar a little better but he was still heavy in obligations [but] he was present for way more than the first record. This one I feel like we nailed the calendar, and he was there for every moment of it. It was amazing having him in the room the whole time with me.”
Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time track listing (songwriters listed in parentheses):
1. “Born With a Beer In My Hand” (Morgan Wallen, Zach Abend, Michael Hardy)
2. “Last Night” (John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Ryan Vojtesak)
3. “Everything I Love” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
Contains interpolation from “Midnight Rider” written by Gregg Allman, Robert Kim Payne
4. “Man Made a Bar” (Feat. Eric Church)(Rocky Block, Jordan Dozzi, Larry Fleet, Brett Tyler)
5. “Devil Don’t Know” (Travis Denning, Jared Mullins, Ben Stennis)
6. “One Thing at a Time” (Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak, Morgan Wallen)
7. “’98 Braves” (John Byron, Josh Miller, Travis Wood)
8. “Ain’t That Some” (Chris LaCorte, Chase McGill, Josh Miller, Blake Pendergrass)
9. “I Wrote The Book” (Morgan Wallen, Michael Hardy, Cameron Montgomery)
10. “Tennessee Numbers” (Jordan Minton, Blake Pendergrass, Travis Wood)
11. “Hope That’s True” (Morgan Wallen, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
12. “Whiskey Friends” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Jonathan Hoskins, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson, Ryan Vojtesak)
13. “Sunrise” (John Byron, Blake Pendergrass)
14. “Keith Whitley” (Thomas Archer, Brad Clawson, Jared Mullins)
15. “In the Bible” (Feat. HARDY) (John Byron, Jeff Garrison, Jon Hall, Ben Johnson, Geoffrey Warburton)
16. “You Proof” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
17. “Thought You Should Know” (Morgan Wallen, Nicolle Galyon, Miranda Lambert)
18. “F150-50” (Jared Mullins, John Pierce, Ben Stennis)
19. “Neon Star (Country Boy Lullaby)” (Morgan Wallen, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson, Ryan Vojtesak)
20. “I Deserve A Drink” (John Byron, Devin Dawson, Jacob Durrett, Hillary Lindsey)
21. “Wine Into Water” (John Byron, Matt Jenkins, Blake Pendergrass)
22. “Me + All Your Reasons” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
23. “Tennessee Fan” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Mark Holman)
24. “Money on Me” (Michael Lotten, Blake Pendergrass, Matt Roy)
25. “Thinkin’ Bout Me” (John Byron, Ashley Gorley, Taylor Phillips, Ryan Vojtesak)
26. “Single Than She Was” (John Byron, Ben Johnson, Ryan Vojtesak)
27. “Days That End in Why” (John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Driver Williams)
28. “Last Drive Down Main” (Jerry Flowers, Ryan Hurd, Michael Lotten)
29. “Me to Me” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
30. “Don’t Think Jesus” (Jessi Alexander, Mark Holman, Chase McGill)
31. “180 (Lifestyle)” (Rocky Block, Ashley Gorley, Mark Holman, Blake Pendergrass, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
Contains interpolation from “Lifestyle” written by Arsenio Archer, London Holmes, Dequantes Lamar, Bryan
Williams, Jeffery Williams
32. “Had It” (Rocky Block, Alex Eskeerdo Izquierdo, Ryan Vojtesak)
33. “Cowgirls” (feat. ERNEST) (Rocky Block, Ashley Gorley, James Maddocks, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
34. “Good Girl Gone Missin'” (Morgan Wallen, Ashley Gorley, James Maddocks, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak)
35. “Outlook” (Morgan Wallen, Rodney Clawson, Jeff Hyde)
36. “Dying Man” (Ben Johnson, Blake Pendergrass, Josh Thompson)