In a press release on April 30, Kenny Chesney officially announced that fans could expect new music this summer! The country star plans to release his 17th studio album, Songs for the Saints, in July.
Fans have already heard “Get Along,” the project’s optimistic lead-off single, but Chesney suggests in a press release that much of the music on the new album will confront darker themes as well, with a deep exploration into “the places that save you.”
“So much has happened since I went off the road in 2016,” Chesney says. “And all of it, in one way or another, has ended up on this record. It’s special to me because of what it says — to me, and for me — about life, the world around us, how fragile it all can be and about somehow still finding the best parts of you, and moving towards them.”
The singer owned a home on the island of St. John, which Hurricane Irma left devastated in the late summer and early fall of 2017. Chesney’s experience with confronting and trying to recover from the wreckage plays into the new music, as the country singer co-wrote five of the album’s songs. Read on to learn more about Songs for the Saints.
Chesney shared on April 30 that his upcoming album will be titled Songs for the Saints. The title speaks to the album’s themes of refuge, touching on “the places that save you,” according to a press release.
The Release Date
Songs for the Saints will be available on July 27. “I’m just glad we’ll have it out in time for me to play some of these songs this summer before the Trip Around the Sun Tour is over,” Chesney comments.
The Album Cover
The cover art for Songs for the Saints features a sailboat in the middle of a beautiful, blue, calm body of water; a mountainous coastline is just visible behind it. Chesney’s name and the album’s title are situated above and below the sailboat, respectively.
The Record Label
The album will be Chesney’s first project on Warner Music Nashville. He signed to the label in January of 2018, after more than 20 years with his previous label, Sony Music Nashville.
“To me, music is only complete when it gets to the fans and becomes part of their lives,” Chesney explained in response to the label change. “The people at Warner understand my commitment to that idea, and they’re just as committed to those ideals as I am.”
Warner Music Nashville is releasing Songs for the Saints on Blue Chair, Chesney’s own label imprint. Chesney created the imprint back in the late 2000s.
Chesney co-produced Songs for the Saints with Buddy Cannon. The pair have a long history of working together: Cannon met Chesney when the country star was a budding young songwriter and has co-produced dozens of Chesney’s No. 1 hits.
Chesney released “Get Along,” the lead-off single from Songs for the Saints, on April 6. Written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne, the song is a message of hope that encourages listeners to look past their differences and respect one another.
“Some days, it’s like the world is just angry, screaming people, all harping on what’s wrong, how other people are awful. The more I move around, talk to people, though, the more I know people are seeking the same things, working hard to get by and hoping for the best for their family and friends,” Chesney stated in a press release upon sharing the song. “It’s simple, but we keep getting driven apart — and made unhappy.”
Chesney will be taking “Get Along” out on the road this summer during his Trip Around the Sun Tour, and he also performed the new single at the 2018 ACM Awards in Las Vegas.
Songs for the Saints will feature 12 tracks. Chesney wrote or co-wrote five of the songs, and Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett and Mindy Smith are featured.
“Each one of them has a tie to my life in the islands, but also reflects some piece of what we’re trying to do.” Chesney shares. “Ziggy Marley, and his family’s legacy, holds so much truth for all of the people I know down there. Mindy Smith’s Come to Jesus was an album I lived with from morning to night when I was first going down there – and her voice sounds like an angel. And Jimmy, more than the lost shaker of salt, understands the poetry of the islands beyond what tourists see, the life, in a way that makes a song written decades ago so current.”
The project was recorded over the last several months, but Chesney had its concept in mind much earlier: “I was at a turning point in my life on so many levels, and then Hurricane Irma hit the Virgin Islands,” the country star recalls. Chesney owned a home on the island of St. John, one of the areas of the Caribbean ravaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017, and the country star says that Songs for the Saints takes influence, in part, from the destruction that occurred there.
“This album isn’t about St. John, so much as it’s about what happened to St. John and all those islands you didn’t see on the news,” he explains. “It is an album about the refuges we all have, how temporary life is and the way we navigate to better places, dig in and face the destruction. And sometimes, we learn to own our wild hearts in the process.”
On June 1, Chesney shared the album’s title track, an ode to the Virgin Islands.
Kenny Chesney, Songs for the Saints Track Listing:
1. “Songs for the Saints”
2. “Every Heart”
3. “Get Along”
4. “Pirate Song”
5. “Love for Love City” (with Ziggy Marley)
6. “Ends of the Earth”
7. “Gulf Moon”
8. “Island Rain”
9. “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season” (with Jimmy Buffett)
10. “We’re All Here”
11. “Better Boat” (featuring Mindy Smith)
Chesney kicked off his 2018 Trip Around the Sun Tour in Tampa, Fla., on April 21. The run is set to extend through August, and will feature opening acts Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay. Of course, no Chesney tour would be complete without a stop at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. — one of the singer’s favorite places to play — and on those dates, Dierks Bentley, the Brothers Osborne and Lay will join Chesney onstage.
For a complete list of tour dates, click here. Tickets are available for purchase at the country singer’s website.