Singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, who earned back-to-back Grammy awards for Best Country Song with "Girl Crush" in 2016 followed by "Humble and Kind" in 2017, has not only scored hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and dozens of others (including Carrie Underwood's current single, "Cry Pretty"), she has also released 10 studio albums as an artist, approaching often-intimate themes with a signature style and flair that covers miles of emotional ground yet never sacrifices authenticity.
With her upcoming 11th LP, The Tree, out July 20th on CN Records via Thirty Tigers, McKenna explores family, a frequent theme in her writing whether the inspiration comes from her own life, from stories she has overheard or ones that have sprung from her fertile imagination. "I love people's stories about their families — the way they tic and the ways we're all crazy and love each other," she says. "I hope my songs shine a little light on that for a second. Maybe our stories remind us of our families and what they give us. It's beautiful, and sometimes we take it for granted."
The Tree is McKenna's second album in collaboration with Dave Cobb, who has produced projects for Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile and Ashley Monroe, among others. It was recorded by Matt Ross-Spang over a seven-day period at
In anticipation of the album, McKenna offers a first taste with the sweet and wistful "People Get Old." A tapestry beautifully woven from the sensations of youth, she sings, "Daddy had a Timex watch, cigarette in his hand and a mouthful of scotch, spinnin' me around like a tilt-a-whirl on his arm," before lamenting the inevitable march of time that follows in the ongoing circle of life. It's yet another deeply affecting tune in McKenna's repertoire, which specializes in incisive emotional expression.
Accompanying the release of the new LP will be McKenna's latest headlining trek. The Way Back Home Tour kicks off June 29th at
Here's the track listing and songwriter credits for The Tree:
1. "A Mother Never Rests" (Lori McKenna, Barry Dean)
2. "The Fixer" (Lori McKenna)
3. "People Get Old" (Lori McKenna)
4. "Young and Angry Again" (Lori McKenna, Barry Dean, Luke Laird)
5. "The Tree" (Lori McKenna, Natalie Hemby, Aaron Raitiere)
6. "You Won't Even Know I'm Gone" (Lori McKenna)
7. "Happy People" (Lori McKenna, Hailey Whitters)
8. "You Can't Break a Woman" (Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose)
10. The Way Back Home" (Lori McKenna, Luke Laird)
11. "Like Patsy Would" (Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose)