When Little Big Town started to work on their new album, Pain Killer, which is available today, Phillip Sweet says, “I think it was imperative for us to push ourselves and we always want to try new things, but we did feel a little bit of pressure, whether we wanted to admit it to ourselves or not.” Karen Fairchild agrees and she tells The Country Vibe, “We always want to do something new and we loved Tornado so much, but we wanted to see where else we could go and take the next step and evolve and grow, and I think we did that.”
The first indication that they were moving in a new direction came when Karen, Jimi and Phillip wrote “Day Drinking” with Barry Dean and Troy Verges. Kimberly Schlapman says, “I think what we were going for was revealed when they wrote ‘Day Drinking,’ and I wasn’t there that day when they wrote the song, but when I heard the demo for the song I was blown away. And then I think that was kind of the stepping off point. ‘Okay, so this is where we start. Now, where do we go from here?’”
Another track called ‘Tumble and Fall’ became a cornerstone for the record, in terms of defining what it was going to be and Phillip says, ‘I felt like we were taking chances and doing something that we hadn’t done before.’”
One way they took chances was with their vocals. Although the album doesn’t completely stray from the sound that Little Big Town fans have come to know and love, Jimi Westbrook says, “We talked about the fact that there’s four vocalists here, so let’s try to use that in a different way than we have before, and explore what that might be. We did that too, and it was a lot of fun.”
The band hopes people will listen to all of Pain Killer and realize that songs like “Day Drinking” and “Good People” show they don’t take themselves too seriously. At the same time, there are songs like “Silver and Gold” and “Turn the Lights On” that offer a lot of depth to the album. Karen says, “There’s a lot more to the record than just ‘Day Drinking.’” Although she laughs and says, “But we do like to do that too.”
Little Big Town will finish their mentoring sessions for Team Blake tonight on The Voice. On Thursday they’ll perform on The View and then on October 30th they have a special performance planned with The Roots on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.