From re-locating to Nashville to marrying Kelsea Ballerini, it’s been a whirlwind 2.5 years for Morgan Evans — and he dished to us EXCLUSIVELY about how that helped him put together his brand new album!
Morgan Evans released his first-ever United States album, Things That We Drink To, on Oct. 12, and we got to catch up with him all about it! “As I look back at my life in the last two and a half years, that doesn’t sound like much time, but I feel like I’ve done a lot of living in that time,” the rising country star told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I moved to the other side of the world, I met a girl [Kelsea Ballerini], I got married, I lost someone really close to me. There’s just a lot of life to cover in there, and that’s what those 11 songs [on the album] are.”
The overall theme of the record, Morgan admitted, is “optimism,” which is a feeling he said he had to have when he moved from Australia to Nashville and was forced to start from scratch in the U.S. music industry. “The first few years, it was just writing songs with strangers — people you meet in bars, friends, people who introduce you to people…whoever,” he explained. “I met [my producer] Chris DeStefano at a writing camp in Australia when I was home for Christmas one time, and that was when it finally started to click. A couple months after we started working together, we wrote “Kiss Somebody,” and that was the first song we had for the album. Musically, that’s when it started to click.”
Morgan released “Kiss Somebody” in July 2017, and spent the next year deciding what other songs would join it on his album. “It was really hard [to pick the 11 songs],” he said. “At first it was like…what are the five best songs of hundreds that you’ve written? We picked those five, and then the other six were really, between Chris and I, we decided…did this song earn its place? They sort of found their place in terms of what part of the story they told. What parts of the story are missing? We picked the other songs based on that.”
Meanwhile, now that “Kiss Somebody” has gone to No. 1 and the album is out, Morgan is focusing on his hot new single, “Day Drunk,” which he announced on Sept. 24. “Before the album came out, we put out one song at a time over the course of a year,” Morgan explained. “The order we put those songs out was the order of — what are people asking for? Because I had been playing them live. “Day Drunk” was the one that kept coming up. Once we had all five original songs out, we were looking at the sales, streams, comments, tweets and stuff like that, and they were all pointing to “Day Drunk.” I love that song as a songwriter because of the double meaning of it. I wrote it about spending a day with your girl and shutting the world out, but at the same time, you can play that in the middle of the day at a country festival and it becomes a drinking anthem!”
Morgan will wrap up 2018 on Chris Young’s Losing Sleep tour with Dan + Shay, and less than a week after the release of Things That We Drink To, the creative juices for new songs are already flowing. “I feel like so much creative energy went into looking at these songs as one piece of work, and being comfortable with that, and now that it’s out, I feel like they’re not my songs anymore — they’re everyone else’s now, and it’s time to make more of my own,” Morgan told us. “We’re already planning on bringing writers on the road for the rest of the year and figuring out what the next thing is going to be!”