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Brett Eldredge: “I Think You Have to Befriend The Anxiety”

His new album drops July 10th

Brett Eldredge’s new album Sunday Drive is coming out July 10th. It’s his first release in three years, and also the first since he began to seriously come to grips with lifelong anxiety issues. But rather than try to find ways to tamp it down, Brett says he’s found it’s better to try to “befriend it”. 

In the latest episode of my podcast, Write You a Song, Brett talks about figuring out that anxiety isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, he believes it “fuels” a lot of his creativity. 

I mean, anxiety is mostly…a lot…just thoughts raging through your mind, you know?” And, he says, a lot of people have them. “It’s how you have your relationship with them.”

For Brett, that means recognizing those raging thoughts and then putting them to work for him…although it can lead to a fairly unconventional songwriting session.

I usually have a lot of ideas” he explains as he talks about his songwriting process. “But I will go down a road where we’re writing something and I’m sure they’re thinkin, ‘oh man we already got a verse and chorus and we’re on our way. And (then) I’m like, no, I’m not feelin’ it, I have this other idea right here, or I’ll just start singin’ another melody.

He says some songwriters hesitate and wonder why they can’t stick with the task at hand but, “if I’m not feelin’ it, then I’m wasting both of our time.”

It might be maddening, but Brett says it usually takes getting to a point where a song starts to take shape that he can actually see whether or not it’s right for him. “It’s like trying on clothes, you know? I gotta walk around in it for a little bit, and I gotta feel it.” He says he doesn’t want any songs that don’t fit him and he admits, the process isn’t for every co-writer. But, he notes, the people who do write with him either “like to write that way, or are very patient, and we end up getting something special that we all connect on“.

Hear the whole half-hour interview with Brett as he talks more about songwriting and the steps he took to make sure his new album is the most true representation of who he is as a singer, songwriter and Midwest small-town guy, by clicking here, starting July 1st. 

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