Very few artists earn a Mediabase No. 1 with their debut single, but you can add Brett Young’s name to the rarefied list thanks to “Sleep Without You,” his breakout tune that ascended to the top of the chart in November 2016.
Riding that wave of momentum into the new year, the California-to-Nashville transplant is set to release his self-titled debut album on February 10. The 12-track offering—of which Brett co-wrote 11 songs—is a give-and-take mix of love songs and heartbreak ballads, sans any obligatory “party” anthems that usually pepper a first project in today’s country-radio-friendly-first atmosphere.
“I think, for me, love songs and heartbreak songs are the easiest songs to write because it’s just straight from personal experience,” says Brett to Nash Country Daily. “I think everybody’s felt both of those. Everybody’s been in love, everybody’s had heartbreak. We noticed that when we put it together, the 12 songs that would make the record that we liked, there’s not a party song on this record. I’ve written a ton of party songs, and not that there’s anything wrong with that. I think, in trying to tell my story and let people get to know me, it seemed like we should talk about things that I’ve lived.”
On Jan. 9, Brett delivered his second single, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” to country radio. Written by Brett, Tyler Reeve, Kyle Schlienger and Trent Tomlinson, the emotional melody has all the makings of a wedding song, complete with the heartstring-tugging chorus In case you didn’t know / Baby I’m crazy ’bout you / And I would be lying if I said / That I could live this life without you / Even though I don’t tell you all the time / You had my heart a long, long time ago / In case you didn’t know.
“You know, when it was done being written, I think we all looked at each other and went, ‘I think that’s a wedding song,’” says Brett. “In the process of writing the song, it was more about wanting to write something that everybody could relate to. In a way, I think men are really bad at saying ‘I love you.’ It’s strange because women need to hear it all the time. We were just talking about how, as a guy, you’ve got to remind yourself to say it. Even if you feel like you’re saying it too much, maybe it comes out like, ‘Hey, you know I love you, right?’ or, ‘Hey, in case you didn’t know, I love you.’ I think we just wanted to keep it really simple and down the middle so that everybody that listened to the song could make it their story. In the process, we accidentally stumbled on a wedding song.”
Check out Brett’s new video for “In Case You Didn’t Know.”