Dierks Bentley Plots New Album, ‘The Mountain’

Instead of holing up in some studio on Music Row in Nashville, Dierks Bentley took his creative process to The Mountain, quite literally, in Telluride, Colorado.

Taking the next step from his hit-filled album, Black, Bentley decided to channel a bit more of his passion for bluegrass yet again in each of the tracks on his anticipated ninth record. Realizing his point of view lies different than many of his peers due to his desert-influenced upbringing in Arizona, Bentley stepped out of the box with his co-writers for a special project like none other.

“Every record needs to be different. It needs to stand up on its own. I’m not from the south. I can’t make records that draw upon certain southern ideas and lifestyles and nostalgic things. I don’t have that crutch, which can be fortunate in some ways. It forces me to work a little harder, I think. If it’s a sound or an idea or a song, I need to find something that’s gonna give me the inspiration to jump off of,” Bentley told NPR during a phone interview recently.

Bentley took some of his favorite—and some of the best—co-writers on the retreat of a lifetime in the sleepy Colorado ski town for some time to produce new content. Songwriters Luke Dick, Jon Randall, Jon Nite, Ross Copperman, Natalie Hemby, and Ashley Gorley made the trip out West and came back with a lifetime of memories and several cuts on the superstar’s next album.

“We’d write all day long and around four o’clock we’d meet on my deck at this tiny little house and start drinking some beers and hanging out, watch the sunset, watch the mountains change colors, everyone playing songs. There were six of us all sleeping in this one house. It was a chance for a bunch of 30- and 40-year-olds to pretend they were living in a small house in Boulder or something. You felt like you really could just be free. I’d never done anything like that,” he revealed.

One mission Bentley wanted accomplished, though, was to release himself from the pressures of what was expected and just make music for the sake of artistic authenticity.

“I think the more you can get out of your head and do what instinctually feels right, the more authentic it’s gonna be,” Bentley said. “I don’t think about any of that anymore. I just think about doing the work so I can be present for the reward when it’s time to walk on stage. I don’t care about demographics or ages. Hopefully it’s just good music. At this point in my career, I have nothing to lose.”

The Mountain is expected to release in 2018. Fans can pre-order the singer’s ninth studio album now.