When Morgan Evans releases his debut studio album in the U.S., he views it more as a gift than he does a compilation of songs.
As the Australian-born singer puts the finishing touches on the project, fans have been clinging to his current single “Kiss Somebody,” the bouncy number that, like most country songs, is inspired by a true story. In the years prior to his big move to Nashville, the native Australian would stay with a friend of his who lived here at the time, and when he ventured through a touch breakup, Evans was a strong support system for him. “I was there with him through that period. He was super heartbroken, which is horrible,” Evans explains to Sounds Like Nashville, revealing that his friend was still hung up on the breakup a year and a half later.
“He’s still heartbroken over this same girl. I was like ‘dude, you need to kiss somebody,'” the singer laughs, inspiring him to write his friend a message of encouragement via the song’s lyrics, “Sometimes you gotta drink about somebody, sometimes you gotta cry and miss somebody, sometimes you gotta kiss somebody.” Though his friend did embark on a brief stint in Japan before heading back to their native Australia, he’s keeping his lips sealed on whether or not he heeded Evans’ advice. “He won’t give me the update because he knows that I’m talking about him,” Evans confesses. “I think it’s going well.”
Finding love is a predominant theme on Evans’ forthcoming album, something that’s been a significant part of his life since he met his now-wife Kelsea Ballerini in 2016. The couple wed in December of 2017, a union that will be reflected in the new album. “There’s definitely a couple of really special love songs to me,” he hints, citing “I Do” as one of those tracks, which was released in the days following the couple’s beachside wedding ceremony in Mexico.
Evans experienced another life changing when he moved across the world to America, an eye-opening experience he was conscious of when penning the album. Fans will begin to understand what it was like for the singer living on the opposite end of the globe and the impactful journey he’s been on traveling the U.S. and immersing himself in the world of country music.
“There’s country music fans everywhere, that’s the great thing. That’s what I’ve loved about it. You can be in this place that feels like another world from where you were the next day. [It’s] so cool,” he explains. “Being in Nashville, you learn to write your experience because that’s all you really have to contribute. You’ll hear that whole story on the record.”
Two of the most important songs for Evans appear in the form of “Dance With Me,” the first song he wrote for his now-wife, and an unheard track titled “Things That We Drink To.” When the up-and-coming star pens a song, he goes into the process thinking of it as a special exchange between artist and fan. “I think the ones that I like better as a songwriter are the ones that feel like gifts,” he says of the songs that are the most special to him. “I grew up writing songs on the other side of the world by myself and just waiting for that inspiration moment, and that’s such a rare thing,” he continues, noting that “Dance With Me” and “Things That We Drink To” came to him quickly. “They’re just like gifts and they feel so honest and pure for that reason. Hopefully people will hear them in that way.”
Evans has a hefty touring schedule through the fall, hitting the festival circuit throughout the summer before hopping on Chris Young’s Losing Sleep World Tour in September.