Country starlet Carly Pearce‘s highly-anticipated album, 29, dropped today and the emotional 7 tracks tell the story of her loss and heartbreak in the last year. Her first full body of work since the loss of her producer, busbee, Carly’s “Show Me Around” was the first song she wrote for this album last March, just three months before announcing her divorce from country singer Michael Ray after eight months of marriage. “Everybody has different approaches to their artistry, and for me, I feel like if I did not share my truth that fans wouldn’t have believed me. I feel like, in a lot of ways, this was kind of my artistic expression to get out what has happened to me in the last little bit,” the now-30 year old told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “It’s closing a chapter of the in-between, gap situation.”
While Carly has never openly spoken out about what happened to her marriage, it isn’t difficult to assume when looking at her lyrics that she was seriously wronged by Ray. “Your phone is glowing, you say it’s no one/It’s funny no one calls me this late/You tell me I’m crazy yeah I know/But I gotta see how far you’re gonna go,” she sings in “Liability,” adding, “How you stand there oh so confidently/Can’t believe your look-me-in-the-eye ability/Your lie ability, yeah.”
One of the most heartbreaking and tear-jerking moments of 29, which Carly admitted would be the most difficult to sing live, is the title song, “29.” “I remember the first time I played my mom ’29,’ and she was like, ‘Please don’t call me for a minute,'” she recalled. “It’s been tough on my mom, it’s been tough on my family. It’s been tough on my friends to watch all of this happen to me. And I have to say that I think even though they’ve been sad for me, I think that they’re equally just happy for me and proud because of what I’ve done out of it and how I’ve overcome it.”
In ’29,’ Carly croons, “29 is the year that I got married and divorced/I held on for dear life but I still fell off the horse/From a Miss to a Mrs.then the other way around/The year I was gonna live it up/Now I’m never gonna live it down.” In speaking to HL, she admitted that she’s felt an inexplicable embarrassment while enduring her divorce and the loss of her beloved producer in the public eye, and felt grateful for her time in quarantine to be able to process and grieve privately.
“It’s not exactly glamorous, it’s actually quite embarrassing, at times, to just have to stand up and be like, ‘Hey, yeah, this picture perfect image, it’s not.’ And then also just losing the person that you feel so connected with. It’s almost like losing another marriage,” Carly explained. “I was willing to just own my story, own the truth and dig into it. I think the messages from fans I’ve gotten over the last six months, it oddly makes me feel more connected than ever, even though I have not seen them in over a year. And that is the power of just vulnerability.”
29 is available today on all streaming platforms.