During his first three seasons on ABC’s Nashville, Chris Carmack portrayed up-and-coming — and closeted — country singer Will Lexington. The Season Three finale, in which Will publicly came out, altered his dramatic arc and sent the character into self-imposed exile. But at the same time, Carmack is raising his own public profile and getting ready to unveil his debut EP, Pieces of You, in December. Ahead of the five-song EP’s release, Carmack debuts the emotionally charged title cut. A perfect showcase for the singer’s sweet, vulnerable vocals, “Pieces of You” is a tender ballad taking stock of all that’s left behind after a break-up.
In much the same way that Carmack’s acting roles have varied throughout his career, the wounded lover at the center of “Pieces of You” is just one of the characters inhabiting his songs, and while fans of Nashville know he can sing straight-ahead country tunes, more than a few musical surprises are in store throughout the EP.
“I think we can expect the unexpected. I draw from many different influences — blues, jazz, funk, country and folk,” Carmack told Rolling Stone Country. “All of those elements exist in all of these songs, but some are more highlighted than others. There’s some hard-hitting blues electric guitar and I’ve got some mellow acoustic guitar. I play guitar on every track and I sing on every track.”
Carmack, who makes his home in Music City now, wrote all of the material on the new release by himself while living in Los Angeles. But the 34-year-old began honing his songwriting craft long before his acting career launched.
“I started writing silly little songs in kindergarten,” he explains. “I’d write them down on little pieces of paper and keep them in my piggybank. I became more serious about songwriting when I moved to Los Angeles. I was all by myself and trying to make it as an actor in a somewhat hostile environment. I sought refuge in my bedroom with a guitar.”
Carmack spent much of his summer hiatus from the show working on the new music both in the studio and onstage. A participant in the Nashville concert tours, he’s set to join his castmates during the Grand Ole Opry’s 90th Birthday Bash on Saturday, October 3rd.
Pieces of You was produced by Ben Fowler (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael McDonald) and Phoenix Mendoza.
Here’s the Pieces of You track listing:
“Can’t Do It Again”
“What Has Changed”
“Pieces of You”