At 23 years old, Hunter Hayes is already taking a look back to those carefree days when he was barely legal. The multi-talented performer has just released his new single, “21,” a party anthem that serves as the first taste of the CMA award-winning entertainer’s upcoming third LP.
The celebratory tune, penned by Hayes with Dallas Davidson, Kelley Lovelace and Ashley Gorley, casts the singer-songwriter and his partying partner in song as a couple of crazy kids on the run, staying up all night “chasing the sunrise, like we’re wild and young.”
Looking back at his own experience of turning 21, Hayes told USA Today he showed remarkable restraint. “I was in New Orleans. I played my first headline show in a theater the night before. At midnight, I went out with some friends, members of my team.”
Since he was scheduled to sing the national anthem at the New Orleans Saints game at the Superdome later that day, the Louisiana native celebrated responsibly. “I capped it off with one drink,” he recalls. “I was proud of my behavior, I must say.”
Already playing “21” for concertgoers, Hayes says the same “all-in” behavior that he addresses in the song extends to his approach to live performances. “I firmly believe that if you’re lucky enough to step onstage in an arena and your name is on the sign, you owe the fans more than just a good set list and a couple of lighting cues,” he once told Rolling Stone Country. “They deserve months and months of planning. They deserve sleepless nights. They deserve you going to bed every night trying to figure out how to improve the tour.”
Hayes is currently overseas headlining his Let’s Be Crazy Tour UK and on May 29th returns to the U.S. on the Wheels Up Tour with Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt.
The summer-ready “21” is currently streaming on Spotify and also hits country radio today (May 21st). Digital downloads of the song will be available beginning May 26th, one day after the singer is scheduled to perform the new tune on ABC’s The View.