Zac Brown Band will unveil their new album The Owl on September 20th. The eclectic country-rock band announced the record with the release of the piano ballad “Leaving Love Behind” on Friday.
A subdued heartbreak song in the vein of ZBB’s 2010 hit “Colder Weather,” “Leaving Love Behind” pushes Brown’s voice front and center in the mix, making it sound as if he’s singing just inches from your ear. There’s nothing to interfere with his plaintive vocals either — the ballad travels forward on the strength of that maudlin piano, some strings, and harmonies from his bandmates.
According to a release, The Owl, the group’s sixth studio album, includes collaborations with producers and writers including Skrillex, Max Martin, Benny Blanco, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.
“We’ve been working tirelessly on this album over the past couple years, ensuring every detail is perfect,” Brown said in a statement. “We are always pushing ourselves as musicians by blurring genre boundaries and incorporating all kinds of music we are personally inspired by, elevating what we are capable as a group. This album will have something for everyone.”
Including a surreal album cover. The photo assembles the Zac Brown Band in a forest, with the bandleader wearing the album’s title literally on his sleeve: he’s holding an owl with a falconry glove. The Owl is the follow-up to ZBB’s 2017 album Welcome Home.
The group is currently on the road with The Owl Tour and will play Irvine, California, this weekend before appearing at the Watershed Festival in George, Washington, on August 3rd.