Everything We Know About Dierks Bentley’s New Album, ‘The Mountain’
In early January, Dierks Bentley revealed what he'd been teasing for several days: The singer has plans to release a new album! On Jan. 10, Bentley announced that his ninth studio album, The Mountain, will be available in 2018.
The Mountain, written and recorded in Telluride, Colo., grapples with themes of self-reflection and coming to terms with your inner self, reflected in the natural beauty of mountainous Colorado. Each of Bentley's eight previous records has been a little different conceptually, but the country star describes his upcoming album as the one with the most inspiring creative process to date.
"Telluride just makes you want to reach for your guitar," Bentley says in a press release of his experience writing the The Mountain in Colorado. "We’d wake up every morning, grab a coffee, take the gondola up, watch the sun come up over the mountains, and by 8:30 we were writing. We just wrote non-stop."
Read on to learn everything known so far about Bentley's forthcoming album, The Mountain.
Recorded against the backdrop of the Colorado countryside, The Mountain will be Bentley's ninth studio album. While many of the mountains referenced on the album are literal, at least one is a personal metaphor for Bentley's career.
"I had this idea of me climbing the mountain, and of other people climbing over me," Bentley explains. "For years, I was opening for Kenny [Chesney], and Carrie Underwood would be opening for us, or Sugarland would be. Then, the next year, Carrie Underwood went around me, and then Sugarland went around me, and then Lady Antebellum went around me. It felt like I was getting beat up just trying to get there."
Bentley is candid about the fact that his career has been far from a straight shot to the top: "Sometimes, like in my case, you make the jump into arenas too soon. I had about three years of trying to tour and headline tours. I was playing these big arenas that hold 20,000 people, but only 2,500 showed up. Every review said, 'Bless his heart, he was playing like it was a sold-out show, but no one came,'" he recalls.
"That's when it felt like we were rappelling back down the mountain," Bentley adds. "We went back to theaters and spent a few more years there. You're always either going up or down -- there are no plateaus in this business."
The Release Date
The Mountain is slotted for release on June 8. Fans who pre-order the album can opt for VIP experiences with Bentley on his 2018 tour.
The Record Label
Capitol Records Nashville, Bentley's longtime label, will release The Mountain. Most recently, the label released Bentley's 2016 album Black.
The Album Cover
The The Mountain album cover can be seen above. Bentley revealed it on April 12.
When Bentley went to Telluride to record The Mountain, he brought his production team, including Ross Copperman, Jon Randall and executive producer Arturo Buenahora Jr., along with him. Bentley recorded the album at a studio about 30 minutes outside of town.
On Jan. 10, Bentley shared a short glimpse into the music of The Mountain, along with the promise of a forthcoming single, "Woman Amen," which the artist officially released on Jan. 17.
Bentley co-wrote "Woman Amen" with Ross Copperman and Josh Kear; Billboard reports that, although the majority of Bentley's new music was written in Telluride, "Woman Amen" actually came to be back in Nashville.
"Woman Amen" begins with a jangly melody and a chorus of "whoa-oh-oh"s, over a steady beat courtesy of iconic rock drummer Matt Chamberlain. The song's verses find Bentley sharing the ways in which his wife has made his life better, while the chorus brings in the song's title: "Every night I should be on my knees / Lord know how lucky I am / I'll never say near enough / 'Thank God for this woman, Amen.'"
“I feel like it all starts at home with my wife. She is who grounds me, she is also the one who has helped me to grow as a person over all these years, so I feel if I’m going to tell these stories [on this album] right, I need to start with her,” Bentley explains. “It’s that sound, that drive, having something that’s uptempo and really makes you feel great, but isn’t a funny song. I’ve had those. I’m trying to get to that same party place, but get there in a way that’s a little deeper.”
Bentley stresses that "Woman Amen" is in keeping with the album's cohesive theme.
"Everyone's climbing this mountain. Everyone's trying to better themselves. Everyone's looking for a way to push forward and looking for that recharge," Bentley explains in an interview with NPR. "I feel like this album is about that western vibe, but there's also that big metaphor of a mountain, putting one step in front of the other and continuing to climb."
The "Woman, Amen" music video, released in April, shares the story of Jennifer and Sydnee Floyd, a mother-daughter duo working to help the homeless in Nashville.
Also along for the ride in Colorado was a team of Bentley's fellow songwriters: Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley.
“We all went out there and got completely off the grid ... out of our normal element and the grind that happens on Music Row," Bentley describes, "and it was, from the very get-go, magic."
Bentley co-wrote 10 of The Mountain's 13 songs. He explains that the themes of self-reflection and struggle in the face of life's challenges will permeate the album as a whole.
"Looking back now," he explains, "I think we were all searching for hope and optimism when we were writing this music."
The complete track listing for The Mountain is below. The album features collaborations with Brothers Osborne and Brandi Carlile, as well as with bluegrass musicians Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas and Tim O'Brien.
Dierks Bentley, The Mountain Track Listing:
1. “Burning Man” (feat. Brothers Osborne)
2. “The Mountain”
4. “Woman, Amen”
5. “You Can’t Bring Me Down” (feat. Sam Bush)
6. “Nothing on But the Stars”
7. “Goodbye in Telluride” (feat. Sam Bush)
8. “My Religion” (feat. Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien)
9. “One Way”
10. “Son of the Sun”
11. “Stranger to Myself”
12. “Travelin’ Light” (feat. Sam Bush, Brandi Carlile, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien)
13. “How I’m Going Out”
Bentley's 2018 Mountain High Tour began on May 17 in Columbia, Md. Brothers Osborne and Lanco will be joining Bentley on the road this summer.
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