Country music superstar, Carly Pearce, continues to be honest and vulnerable in her upcoming third studio album 29: Written in Stone — an extension of her EP 29. The singer recently opened up about the writing process behind her latest work, as well as what has gotten her through the more difficult times in her life.
Starting out on this project, Pearce knew one thing for sure, she wanted to be candid. Because of where she was at in life, love songs were not at the top of her list to write; Those were not the emotions she was feeling at the time.
On top of losing her longtime collaborator, Busbee, to brain cancer in 2019, Pearce was also going through a divorce from fellow artist Michael Ray and living through a very tough year for the world in 2020. Having to write with a new team left her feeling hesitant, understandably, but once she found comfort in Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, she was able to speak her truth. Together, they turned all those emotions into lyrics.
From the very first song on the album, “Diamondback,” she completely opened up her heart. She sings, “You ain’t gonna get this diamond back / Keep the dog and the Cadillac / But you ain’t gonna get this diamond back.”
“I think it was the last song I wrote for this project,” Pearce explained. “You try to do the right thing, and you try to stay quiet, and I just stopped caring in that moment. I went, ‘Hmm … I gotta go there’ — and I did.”
Luckily, Pearce has found some incredible music to relate to, from other strong women in the industry. Seeing the work they had done gave her the courage to let her guard down and keep writing her genuine thoughts.
“All of the great women that I love as writers and as singers and as performers — [like] Natalie Maines of The Chicks, had those go-off moments,” she said. “I grew up loving those. Miranda [Lambert] writes from such an unapologetic place, Loretta Lynn writes from such an unapologetic place, Kacey Musgraves … So that was my go-off moment.”
When asked what songs get her through tough times, Pearce responded, “Right now I’m bumping that Kacey Musgraves.” Musgraves similarly went through a divorce in 2020.
“I’m like, ‘Same, girl!’” she joked. “No, I’m kidding. I love Alison Krauss. When I lost my grandparents, I really turned to her voice. All of the ladies of the ’90s — that’s still what I listen to. That’s still the music from the time I was little to now that makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’m not alone.”
Earlier this month, Pearce saw her heart work paying off, as she was nominated for CMA’s Album of the Year. Soon she will bring the entirety of this project to the stage. She has recently announced the 29 tour, starting out this fall on Nov. 4 in Des Moines, IA.