“I’m walking around, making out with someone,” Chris Young told Rolling Stone Country before the CMT Awards last week about the video for his new single “I’m Comin’ Over,” decked out on the red carpet in a classic tux. “To some extent, that’s not a normal day.”
Well, no — most people don’t get to spend a work day filming a racy clip about sexting, seduction and the inability to say “no” when you should really know better, but Young knows it’s all part of the fantasy that helps a new song make the biggest impact. Nor is he complaining about an acting role that requires him to stage a steamy affair with an underwear-clad blonde. (Watch the video below.)
“[Videos] are gigantically important,” he said. “It’s just an extra piece, in such an A.D.D. society. Especially when you really feel like you have nailed it.”
The steel-guitar-tinged ballad isn’t a massive departure from tracks like “Lonely Eyes,” off 2013’s A.M., but it is a brazen move to come out of the gate with such a mellow, introspective moment (unlike the Patrón-slinging “Aw Naw” that introduced the last record). Young made another leap by co-producing the song himself, and his entire next LP, along with Corey Crowder, who helped keep things focused. “He’s really good if I’m trying to nit-pick something to death,” Young admitted, who counted on Crowder (who has worked with the Cadillac Three, A Thousand Horses and Jamie Lynn Spears) to tell him when it’s time to leave well enough alone.
“It was a risk, because I’ve never co-produced a record before. It’s just me and Corey,” he said. As for “I’m Comin’ Over,” “We loved this song from the first day we wrote it, with Josh Hoge. We wrote most of the album together and had so much fun writing and creating. It’s the perfect sonic bridge between the last record and what this one is going to sound like, and we just crossed our fingers and went with it.”
Young’s fifth album, expected in the fall, will also include duets with Vince Gill and winner of The Voice Cassadee Pope, who shares the same reality-show history as the singer — he took the crown on Nashville Star in 2006. If it’s anything like “I’m Comin’ Over,” expect plenty of modern-glossed country instrumentation, subtle crooners and lots of moments that highlight the Tennessee native’s super smooth, effortless tone. And not a lot of pushing boundaries just for the sake of it.
“The stuff that has evolved in my music has changed not because I needed to change something, but it happened organically,” Young explained. “It’s really cool for it to happen that way, and say, ‘This is a natural progression,’ instead of us going in and trying to flip everything on its head. There are also a lot of things that didn’t change — my steel player from the road played all the steel parts on the record. To me, it just feels like the right next step.”