With a string of hits stretching back to 2012, a red hot live-performance reputation, and a fanbase that’s growing exponentially, Dustin Lynch is one of the hottest acts in modern country music. And with his third album for Broken Bow Records – CURRENT MOOD – he’s done flying under the radar.
After three years of determined diligence, CURRENT MOOD arrives as one of the most adventurous, attention-grabbing Country albums of 2017, and it shows a bold next-generation superstar coming into his own.
“I’m a little nervous,” Lynch admits with a laugh. “But the last thing I want for chapter three is ‘Oh, this is just a new take on what we’ve heard for the last few years.’ I hope people see a side of me they haven’t seen yet.”
Still only 32 years old, fans have already seen a few sides of the Tullahoma, Tennessee, native.
His first two albums mixed traditional influence with edgy intensity to debut at #1 and #2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, while his first-ever single – the tender ballad “Cowboys and Angels” – earned Platinum status. Five consecutive Platinum and Gold singles followed as “Where It’s At,” “Hell of a Night,” “Mind Reader,” “Seein’ Red,” and “Small Town Boy” all became hard driving #1s.
Online, Lynch has also hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Country Albums Chart while racking up 3 million track downloads, more than 245 million Spotify streams, and 113 million YouTube/VEVO views. His social-media following tops 2.5 million, and he’s not connecting with those rabid fans through music alone. Lynch’s own Stay Country clothing line puts his personal style in their hands, and national TV appearances have highlighted his good-natured charisma.
Meanwhile, those same fans have watched him become one of the most dynamic performers on the road. Cranking up massive crowds while opening for stadium-rocking icons like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Brad Paisley, Lynch has played for millions while developing an unparalleled onstage potency – and he’ll put it to good use on THE RIDE OR DIE TOUR in the fall of 2017, his opening salvo as a headliner and an arena-filling testament to his rise.
But with CURRENT MOOD, those milestones take a backseat to unbridled creativity. Thirteen new tracks push proudly against country’s already-expanded boundaries as timeless themes mix freely with edgy, new-school sonics, romantically-charged vocals and swaggering street- wise grooves.
Produced by a five-headed monster of Brent Anderson, Mickey Jack Cones, Ross Copperman, Zach Crowell, and Will Weatherly, the album stretches from Top 40 R&B to SoCal power Punk, from dusty roots Country to lush millennial Pop, and from straight-up party Rock to danceable EDM. Using his inner monologue as inspiration, Lynch takes his music – and fans – to the next level.
“There’s a song for every emotion I’m feeling right now,” he explains. “All these songs are a behind-the-curtain-look at my heart and soul, and it’s so diverse because I listen to all kinds of music. Depending on what mood I was in, I would start the session out with ‘Hey, I was listening to Sugar Ray last weekend in San Diego, I want to feel like that today.’ Or ‘I just saw Imagine Dragons, let’s try something like that.’”
From the album’s opening notes, each track feels raw and urgent – just like his electrifying concerts. Lynch’s fingerprints are everywhere as finished recordings were based largely on demos he laid down in the back of his tour bus, and each producer was given free reign on just a few tracks, resulting in 13 separate “passion projects.”
With the first single, “Seein’ Red” (a Gold-certified #1), Lynch jumped head first into lusty Pop Rock – a hint of the creative explosion to come. The second, “Small Town Boy,” followed that experimental trend, mixing stone-Country lyrics with an irresistibly smooth R&B rhythm to become another Gold #1, his fifth in a row. Lynch knew he was on to something.
“I think it’s got a nice little mid-tempo groove, but what’s special about it is the lyric,” he says. “It’s not even about small towns to me. It’s about the true love we’re all chasing down and trying to hang on to.”
“I’d Be Jealous Too” dives even deeper into the sounds of Top 40 Pop, grafting a club-ready backbeat to a strutting vocal delivery, while sexy, smoldering tracks like “Back On It” and “Why We Call Each Other” test Country’s limits with undeniable crossover potential.
Meanwhile, “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” strips away everything but the essentials, pairing a wounded Country vocal with vibey vintage guitars. The song features Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, who first heard it during a post-show jam session and immediately claimed it as her own.
“She pretty much threatened me with my life, if I didn’t let her sing this song with me. And, I was like ‘Holy crap!’” Lynch jokes. “She just loves the song, and that’s such a great endorsement.
“It rips my heart out, because I’ve been there,” he goes on. “It’s all about ‘What are we? Are we hooking up? Are we more than dating?’ I think we can all relate to that line in the sand, and having to cross it eventually.”
“Why Not Tonight” looks to Travis Tritt’s “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” and California Pop-Rock to inspire uptempo, party-centric fun, while the wild and free “Party Song” treats falling in love like the perfect mixtape. Both will add even more excitement to his live show, capable of moving crowds of 60,000-plus.
“I Wish You Were Beer” keeps the good times rolling while “New Girl” delivers a heartfelt message wrapped in circa-2000 Pop, and the album closes with a flourish of nostalgic romance – a gorgeous oceanside tribute to love lost but never forgotten, “Sun Don’t Go Down on That.”
“She’s living a happy life, I’m living a happy life, but who’s gonna make me feel that again?” Lynch asks. “The sun won’t go down on that question, and I’m glad because it makes me want to find out.”
Each track on CURRENT MOOD is like that – a snapshot of Lynch’s crazy world, an unforgettable relationship, or a feeling he can’t escape. Walking tall with a new generation of fans behind him, it’s the next step on his path to superstardom. He’s pushed deep into uncharted Country territory, and now he’s ready to claim it as his own.
“The goal for me is to continue to stretch,” he explains. “It’s all about moving the needle now.”