The harmony-based trio and its sizeable fan base bonded heavily during the band’s headlining Own The Night World Tour– an over-sized road trip, if there ever was one. The shows themselves were inspirational. But so was the time offstage. Lady A made a point of experimenting and creating with its road band as the one-nighters and the miles of travel piled up. That behind-the-scenes interaction inspired much of the music on GOLDEN, an instantly infectious project in which Lady A discovered new edges for its already-successful foundation.
“We were just kind of in that live show mindset for this album,” said Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “We had that perspective of being on a tour and having seen what translates in an arena. We have a better idea what kind of songs are so relatable where it shakes everybody like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve totally been there.’”Lady Antebellum’s familiar, established blend remains firmly intact, but there’s a sense of renewal about it, too. Lady A and veteran producer Paul Worley return as co-producers on GOLDEN, a reinvented version of Lady A that’s familiar but simultaneously unlike any of its predecessors. It’s an achievement that comes from the band’s journey, and from its willingness to risk. “Downtown,” GOLDEN’s funky lead single, first announced the new direction in January. The band gave it an energetic, playful performance with a noticeably cleaner production than the previous album. The recording uses fewer instruments – each of them framed distinctly in the sound – and Scott delivers the lead vocal with a full-on attitude that’s never been completely realized in previous recordings.
“Every band I love that’s been here for a long time has reinvented itself in some way,” added Charles Kelley. “There’s a balance to it. I get a little annoyed when people reinvent themselves too much because there’s a reason people fell in love with you in the first place, but I think it’s important not to regurgitate the same stuff over and over again.”
“We embraced risk,” noted Hillary Scott. “When you are pushing yourself to not go back to the same well, you’re gonna come up with something different, or you’ll find songs that are different. And that’s what happened on this album.”
In some ways, GOLDEN also reaffirms the very beginnings of Lady Antebellum. The project focuses on deft songwriting and fresh uses of their talents, which was at the heart of what drew them together in the first place. In the end, the mix of their road experiences, songwriting and challenging outside songs adds a brightness to the album that’s reflected in the GOLDEN title.