Sunny Sweeney is an accident waiting to happen. That's how the singer-songwriter views her creative process, anyway. Whether she's alone or working with co-writers, sometimes it's the unexpected burst of inspiration that yields the most satisfying results.
"Mom says I can talk to a brick wall – and I probably have before," Sweeney tells Rolling Stone Country. "[If you] have a person sitting in the room with you, you're going to say something to them. It's the same way with writing, or even if I'm just holding my guitar, practicing or learning a new chord. Sometimes I'll be totally depressed or totally on top of the world and just accidentally write a song. Or you accidentally get this cool melody in your head or accidentally come up with a cool line."
What's no accident is the fan adoration the Texas native has earned since her debut in 2006. Her fans showed their appreciation by helping to fund Sweeney's new album, Provoked, which will be released on August 5th. Loaded with equal parts humor and heartache, it's also brutally honest and straight-ahead country, both of which are completely on purpose.
"My fans are everything to me," she says. "If your fans' opinions don't matter to you, I would assume that you wouldn't be in this business. That's why I put a lot of songs on [the album] that I have been doing for a couple of years. If nothing else, I feel completely confident because I know my fans and I know what they want from me."
The fans at her live shows are also the first to let Sweeney know when she's touched a particular nerve with one of her tunes.
"People come up afterwards and say, 'I've been through that. Thank you so much for doing that and saying that.' It's almost like a friendly therapy, where fans open themselves up to you. They want so badly to tell you what the songs mean to them. To me, that is why I do this."
Check out the Rolling Stone Country premiere of Sweeney's "My Bed," featuring Will Hoge, here.