Lee Brice Bares his Soul on ‘Rumor,’ Self-Titled Album

“Even though I wrote it about a small town, maybe it's more about the whole world," Brice shares of "Rumor."

Written by Cillea Houghton
Lee Brice Bares his Soul on ‘Rumor,’ Self-Titled Album
Lee Brice; Publicity Photo

Lee Brice initially viewed his new single “Rumor” through the lens of a small town. But after observing the world around him, the singer has found new meaning in the track he co-penned with Ashley Gorley and Kyle Jacobs.

Brice describes “Rumor” as a “natural throwback” to the South Carolina town he grew up in, one where a story, whether true or false, travels quickly around the rumor mill. The song symbolizes small town life and how a Friday night rumor is headline news Saturday morning. Brice believes it represents the many map dot towns scattered across the country. But each time he hears it, he continues to see the song in a broader context.

“I think this whole world is a small town now because of social media,” Brice explains of how the details of someone’s life can take on a life of its own online. “Even though I wrote it about a small town, maybe it’s more about the whole world.”

One aspect engrained in the song is the soulfulness Brice brings to it. He reveals how he experienced a “vocal hardship” due to a polyp on his vocal chords that forced him to change the way he sings. But Brice used it to his advantage; emphasizing the natural soul in his voice and the passion he’s harbored for it. The injury stopped him from belting out high notes, exhibited on tracks like “Love Like Crazy,” but instead allowed his soulfulness to become a defining factor of his 2017 self-titled album, particularly on tracks such as “Rumor,” “Little Things,” “They Won’t Forget About Us” and “I Don’t Smoke.”

“I wanted something really soulful and fun and real, so that’s where it came from,” he says of “Rumor.” “That’s a little piece of where some of the musical value of this last record came from was the fact that some of it, I wanted to be simple. I couldn’t quite do the things I did before, so I made this record very natural, soulful.”

Brice had surgery to correct the issue and is now able to return to the “Olympic athlete” level singing that makes for a high point both on his album and in the live show. But soul is an asset that’s long lived within Brice and is one he’ll continue to incorporate into projects. “It’s cool to look at a record like ‘this was a time when I had to give it all I had to just get a little bit out,’” he continues. “But it gave a little extra soul to what I was doing, so that lended itself to a lot of these songs on this record. It’ll be cool to look back on this record and see that.”

Brice is already looking ahead to his next project, and he alludes to the idea that he may play around with his sound to keep his approach interesting. “I’ve always wanted to be soulful,” he says. “Now I’m back to square one to where I can do what I want to with my voice…I love changing it up, so my next record may be completely different than this last record. Life is short and there’s a lot of ideas bouncing around in my head, so we’ll see what happens next.”

Brice continues on the road with dates scheduled through October of 2018.