Ever since “Need You Now” launched Lady Antebellum toward the upper reaches of the Top 40 in 2010, the group’s songs have grown more and more crossover-friendly. Last year’s “Bartender” took its cues from modern pop music, while the half-rapped “Freestyle” pushed the band closer to hip-hop. “Something Better,” their new collaboration with EDM DJ Audien, takes things a step further, propelling the band into electro-pop outer space with help from digital drums, AutoTune and a synthesizer-heavy backing track.
“This is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time,” Charles Kelley told Rolling Stone Country backstage at this year’s CMA Music Festival. “Lyrically, it was powerful. It reminded me of some those really great messages you hear from a band like Switchfoot. It took us out of our comfort zone. We’re learning as a band not to be so scared of things. We’ll always stay true to the country genre but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun.”
Released this week, the lyric video for “Something Better” pairs the tune with plenty of interstellar visuals of astronauts, shooting stars, orbiting moons and space shuttles. The real attraction, though, is still the song itself, which pairs Lady Antebellum’s vocals with Audien’s glittery, bass-heavy production. Arriving several months after the group’s CMT Awards performance with electronic musician Zedd, “Something Better” points to something different for Lady Antebellum: a willingness to temporarily leave country music entirely behind if the song requires it.
The group recently headlined a sold-out Nashville show as part of their Wheels Up Tour. The trek concludes September 19th in Camden, New Jersey.