Morgan Wallen’s new album, One Thing At A Time, is officially here! The highly-awaited collection, produced by Joey Moi, is stacked with 36 tracks that represent the highs and lows of the past few years of the award-winning chart topper’s life.
From those moments, Wallen, 29, undergoes the process of reflecting on who he once was to grabbing ahold of the man he wants to be. Two songs, which provide the bookends for the project, serve as a map for listeners to navigate through the East Tennessee native’s journey from baring a reckless childlike behavior to experiencing a level of growth and maturity.
Those two tracks are track No. 1 “Born With A Beer In My Hand” and track No. 36 “Dying Man.”
The latter of the two cuts, written by Ben Johnson, Blake Pendergrass, and Josh Thompson, is an introspective country ballad that finds Wallen being forever grateful for the opportunity to have a second chance in life to rewrite his future, learn from his mistakes, and focus on becoming the best version of himself he possibly can be.
“I was a bad reputation with an attitude to match / Hell bent on goin’ nowhere and gettin’ there lightning fast / Twenty-one and looking thirty, but acting half my age / Bound to hit a wall before I ever hit the brakes,” Wallen sings the first verse of the song, introducing listeners to a younger description of himself.
Listen To Morgan Wallen’s “Dying Man” Below
By the time folks get to the chorus, Wallen is referencing the tragic deaths of late icons like Elvis Presley and Hank Williams to further express his gratitude for getting the push he needed to fulfill his life’s purpose.
“Codeine, it got Elvis / Whiskey, it got Hank / I always thought something like that / Might send me on my way,” Wallen sings throughout the chorus of the song.“But you took hold of me / Like only a woman can / And gave one good reason to live / To a set-on-dying man.”
“I think artists struggle with things. It’s just like not a normal life, so you know, no one got you ready for it, like no one taught you how it’s supposed to be,” Wallen, who has experienced rapid-fire success since 2018’s If I Know Me, said while co-hosting the Country Countdown USA with host, Lon Helton. “So sometimes you try to run away from it and I think that is probably the biggest problem that it comes to… Then that may become a habit, that may become an addiction.”
Although at first listen, it’s apparent “Dying Man” is about a woman saving a man, Wallen shares that it was his two-year-old toddler son, Indigo (Indie) Wilder that he welcomed into the world in 2020, who deeply changed his outlook on life, and gave him all the reasons to be a better man.
“‘Dying Man’ is a song that speaks on – I wasn’t always sure, I guess none of us were, you know? Maybe I thought that I might die sooner than later and then once my son came into the world, I felt like I had a whole new reason to live and stick around,” Wallen, who points out that he would tell someone to listen to the track first even though it’s the last one on the album, shared of his baby boy. “This song is talking about a woman, but for me, it’s more to my son than it is to a woman.”
“I don’t know how many times I should have died,” Wallen further explains in his bio for the new album. “There’s plenty of times. And for some reason, it never really scared me. I don’t know why. I should have been terrified the next day, but I never was. And then he was born, and he gave me something different to live for. So this song is dedicated to him.”
Wallen previously shared that Indigo played a significant role in the making of One Thing At A Time, and added that his son “brought a new energy” into the recording studio that hadn’t been there before.
“He started coming in there and banging on guitar strings and, you know, deleting songs for Joey and stuff like that,” Wallen joked while previewing his upcoming project at a Republic Records GRAMMY’s listening event in Los Angeles, according to Billboard. “But honestly, he brought a lot of joy into the room [and] …a new energy we hadn’t had in there before.”
The East Tennessee native also opened up about how recording an album has changed since becoming a father.
“Making an album as a dad is a little bit more challenging just time wise, but luckily I got to have him come in here and hang out with me quite a bit in this room here and my producer usually is right here and mixing and getting vocal takes and all that,” Wallen explained. “But Indie took over a lot when he came in here pressing buttons and luckily he didn’t mess anything up too bad, but maybe you never know. Maybe he’ll be a producer one day. But he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. I know we all enjoyed having him in here. Just a fresh energy and just a good time. And I know it’s something I’ll never forget and I don’t know if he’ll remember it or not, but I’ll be sure to show him all the videos and pictures we.”
One Thing At A Time, which highlight’s Wallen’s musical influences spanning country, alternative, and hip-hop, and includes collaborations with Eric Church, HARDY, ERNEST, and Wallen’s sister, Ashlyne, is out now.
Additionally, Morgan Wallen will kick off his One Night At A Time World Tour on Wednesday, (March 15) in support of the album and he will be bringing his son along for the trek. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wallen shared that his 2-year-old son will be joining him throughout the tour.
“Yeah, Indie will come with me… I don’t know exactly what dates or anything like that, but I feel like he’s getting to the point where he’s old enough,” Wallen explained. “Last tour he was still a little young and probably wouldn’t even have any clue what’s going on, but I think now he’s getting to the point where he will see what’s happening and I definitely want him [with me]. I take him everywhere I went if I could, but you know obviously he’s gotta spend time with his mama too.”
One Thing At A Time is out now everywhere and is available to stream HERE.