The Sound Cafe
Little Big Town Release 10th Studio Album 'Mr. Sun'
Photo Credit: Blair Getz Mezibov.
ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town – consisting of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook – release their new, 10th studio album Mr. Sun.
The band also unveiled the music video for “Three Whiskeys and the Truth,” which was directed by Running Bear Film’s Stephen & Alexa Kinigopoulos. Immediately following the video’s premiere, the band went live exclusively on YouTube Premium for a livestreamed afterparty to answer fan questions about the new album.
“Three Whiskeys and the Truth” was written by Fairchild and Schlapman alongside their beloved Love Junkies (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna, and Liz Rose), ruminating on the feelings that hide in the dark but that always come to the surface somehow. “Lori had that title, and I just love how it tells the story of what we do to numb the pain we're going through,” Fairchild says, recalling a long day of writing. “And the melody makes it feel like an old school country song like the ones we grew up with."
The band kicked off the album’s release on Wednesday, September 14 with a stirring performance of “Rich Man” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – watch here – in addition to flexing their comedic chops in the show’s Cold Open – watch here.
On the eve of the record’s release, the band took to Twitter for an #AskLBT Album Q&A with the fans about the record, including the message they want to give fans from the album: “This record was written during the pandemic, so a spirit of gratefulness ties all these songs together. Even the painful songs lead us to better days ahead.”
Fans can engage in the album launch through multiple social media activations, including using the hashtag #MrSun on Twitter to reveal album’s official Twitter emoji and a custom Mr. Sun Instagram filter that went live with the album’s release, which can be found on the filter tab of LBT’s Instagram profile.
This morning, they took the stage at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza in front of hundreds of fans for the 2022 Citi Concert Series on TODAY, performing a mix of new songs – “All Summer” and “Rich Man,” both of which New York Magazine has praised as “exuberant” – and classic LBT hits (“Wine, Beer Whiskey” and “Little White Church”).
Additional praise for Mr. Sun includes The New York Times hailing it “a sweeping record” and American Songwriter observes that “inside the record, notes reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles ring out, but they’re all tailored to Little Big Town’s country expertise.” Rolling Stone calls it “smooth and sweet, with just the right undercurrent of sadness,” with production that feels “spacious and golden.”
Billboard singles out the album’s “swelling” closing track “Friends of Mine,” as a “benediction to finding the collective strength to persevere through tough times,” while Rolling Stone further ties it to the full record: “Like much of Mr. Sun, it feels like a warm embrace from a loved one.”
The album’s lead single “Hell Yeah” has amassed 49.8 million streams since its April release. The song was co-written by Sweet, Westbrook, Corey Crowder and Tyler Hubbard. Of its creation, Westbrook notes: “Corey dropped that hook idea on us, and we all gave a resounding hell yeah! At that point, you just don’t want to mess it up.”
Physical copies of Mr. Sun are available as CDs and a baby blue vinyl; a sky blue vinyl is available exclusively through Barnes & Noble.
The genesis of Mr. Sun was unlike any of their previous albums. Due to the pandemic, the band found themselves off the road and apart for the first time ever throughout their 20-year journey. The resilience and creativity born from those months unearthed a deep appreciation for both one another, and the privilege of making music – ultimately inspiring the self-produced Mr. Sun, which packs both the sparkle of storytelling and the heat of truth-telling in a way only Little Big Town can.
“Mr. Sun is intentionally an emotional record that holds hands well with our last album Nightfall,” Fairchild has previously shared. “Mr. Sun is focused on better days ahead, the value of friendships and family; it touches on heartbreak and letting go, but it’s full of sunshine and joy.”
Little Big Town spent all summer bringing their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. This fall, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour in Duluth, GA (October 14) and Huntsville, AL (October 15).
GRAMMY, ACM, CMA, AMA and Emmy Award-winning group, Little Big Town – consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook – first entered the music scene over 20 years ago with hit songs “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” “Good As Gone” and the GRAMMY-nominated “Little White Church.” The band’s breakthrough albums Tornado and Pain Killer produced multiple #1 singles, including “Pontoon,” “Tornado,” and “Day Drinking,” as well as the history-making, best-selling country single of the year (2015) “Girl Crush.” 2017’s The Breaker debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and Top 10 (No. 4) on the Billboard 200 to critical acclaim. The album features their GRAMMY-winning, multi-week #1 single, “Better Man,” as well as the 2019 GRAMMY-nominated, “When Someone Stops Loving You.” The band’s self-produced ninth studio album Nightfall was released January 2020 and hit the top of the Billboard Country Charts. The record included critically-acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated “The Daughters,” “Over Drinking” and “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” - the latter of which has reached more than 379 million global streams. In April 2022, they released their new single “Hell Yeah,” which has amassed more than 49 million global streams to date. Little Big Town has earned more than 45 award show nominations and has taken home nearly 20 awards, including multiple GRAMMY, AMA, People’s Choice, CMA and ACM Awards, in addition to an Emmy award. Their highly anticipated 10th studio album Mr. Sun was released on September 16, 2022.