Fans of country music singer Eric Paslay have been patient, and they’re about to be rewarded.
Paslay is wrapping up the follow-up to his self-titled 2014 album that included the singles “Never Really Wanted,” “Friday Night,” “She Don’t Love You” and “Song About a Girl.”
He promises a new single will be released this summer, though he’s unsure what it will be. “There’s so many good songs. I wanted to make sure the songs had that ‘it factor’ when recording them.”
He says the new songs “really have that new-car smell.”
The single will be out in advance of a new album that’s in the final mixing stage.
“My co-producer and I are rocking and rolling trying to get new music to people and trying not to screw it up,” he jokes. “We’re having fun. We were writing like crazy for this recording. I feel like I almost wrote the entire album in the last two weeks.”
Paslay says he wants to make sure the new record gets listeners “on the same highway I’m on, make sure when they say the name Eric Paslay they know what they’re getting. I’ve confused people with the songs I’ve put out. I try to be so entertaining, and the songs are all so different. When you’re a songwriter, you’re influenced by so many different artists and people, though it’s coming from the same voice — the same heart.”
He continues: “When you put on a Johnny Cash album, you know what you’re getting. When you put on a Coldplay album, you know what you’re getting. And it’s the same with U2. You’re getting great songs, great melodies. I’m making as honest a record as I can without chasing what I think is going to be the next thing. I just want to make good music that’s timeless.”
The album will be a mixture of upbeat songs and more. “Not everybody wants a dance party,” he says. “If you live in that world, you’ll be let down eventually. The album will also have some honesty come through with slow ballads of heartbreak and slow ballads that are love songs. But we won’t have all ballads. When the heartbeat goes a little faster, it’s a little more fun.”
The album will also include more “jangles,” he says, referring to instruments prominent in country music such as the banjo, mandolin and 12-string guitar.
“I’m a country singer, and I want to make sure there are country sounds on the album, and I want to make sure people hear the instruments — that the sound of country music isn’t lost though we’re growing in really cool ways.”
Making sure the music sounds as country as possible is important to Paslay; he doesn’t think his voice is exactly the twangiest out there.
“In New York and LA, I have a lot of twang,” he says. “In Texas, I don’t. My voice is my voice. I can only be honest and sing the way I sing, and I am country, that’s for sure.”
The making of a second album has been a real process for the singer. Paslay says the album was to have been released before now, but the new singles, including “High Class” and “Angels in This Town,” weren’t clicking enough.
“It all comes down to business,” Paslay says. “If you don’t have a song that goes high enough on the chart, it doesn’t get sold. It was all good stuff, though. They’re all great songs. I don’t try to record bad songs.”
“It was a bummer when you’ve been working on something for a year and it doesn’t come out,” he says. “But I’m grateful God allowed me to not be jaded by it. It all happens for a reason.”
Some of the songs slated for the original version of the second album will make it onto the final version.
With a debut album, he says, “you have your whole life to write.” He was working with a different timetable on the follow-up. “One thing that happens is you get superbusy with shows, and you don’t get to write as much.”
The upcoming album doesn’t have a title yet. Paslay learned that naming an album before it’s finished doesn’t work.
“Now I’m just trying to get that good music out there and figuring out what it wants to be called,” he says.
What Eric Paslay at the O’Fallon Heritage and Freedom Festival • When 8:45 p.m. Monday • Where Main stage, Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 900 TR Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon, Mo. • How much Free • More info heritageandfreedomfest.com
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