J Records have set an August 9th, 2011 release date for Gavin DeGraw's brand-new album, Sweeter, but you can get a taste of the effort today.
The album's first single, "Not Over You," which Gavin co-wrote with OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who also produced the track, will premiere today May 16th on AOL Music, impacts radio on June 6th and will be available for purchase through iTunes and all other digital providers on June 7th.
Gavin and Ryan first met when they performed on the same bill and the two, both groove-minded piano players, decided to write together. "Not Over You," which poignantly evokes the difficulty of getting over someone, is one of two songs Gavin co-wrote with Ryan for Sweeter, which was recorded in several locations, including Ryan's studio in Denver, Blackbird Studio in Nashville, producer Butch Walker's space in Venice, CA (where Bob Dylan recorded some tracks in the '70s), and the legendary Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood. The album finds the New York native — beloved for his blue-eyed soul vocals, freewheeling melodies, and earthy charm — experimenting with new sounds, which resulted in a potent, swaggering strut, both musically and lyrically, on sexually charged songs like the R&B-infused "Sweeter" and "Radiation." The racier moments are balanced out by more emotionally transparent songs like the vigorous "Not Over You," and the uplifting "Soldier" and "You Know Where I'm At," which convey a vulnerability while still managing to feel distinctly masculine.
"The question for me became, 'How do you expose your vulnerability without seeming like somebody who gets kicked around, and at the same time, describe your ability to get past something without sounding cocky," Gavin says. "That's always tricky, because you know you're being judged on the lyrics and they're all very personal."
Gavin decided that his best strategy was to shrug off any expectations and focus on the songs, working with co-writers for the first time as a way to broaden his horizons, such as Ryan Tedder, who also co-wrote and produced "Sweeter," and Andrew Frampton (The Script, Natasha Bedingfield). He also worked with a host of top-notch producers including Butch Walker (Weezer, Avril Lavigne), Eric Rosse (Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos), and Ron Aniello (Barenaked Ladies, Matt Nathanson).
"Co-writing with other people changed everything for me," Gavin says. "Not only did it open my mind to new ideas, but it changed the way I wrote on my own. Playing all these different styles with other musicians led me to think about things differently when I was working by myself. I was able to tap into things I do live, dabbling with some of that late '60s, early '70s R&B stuff; I was able to record all the styles of music that I like and put them on one album. It was great to take my leash off and experiment. Although it doesn't stray too far from what I've done, I think it's the first album I've made that has caught my true sound."
Gavin will hit the road in July with TRAIN and Maroon 5 for an extensive North American tour this summer. Please see below for all of his upcoming confirmed tour dates.
06/02 Tampa, FL The Ritz Ybor*
06/18 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Live*
06/24 Las Vegas, NV Red Rock Resort*
07/15 Kansas City, MO Power & Light District Outdoor Stage*
07/16 St. Louis, MO Celebrate St. Louis Concert Series*
07/17 Springfield, MO The Gillioz Theatre*
07/22 Chula Vista, CA Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
07/23 Paso Robles, CA California Mid-State Fair
07/25 Hollywood, CA Hollywood Bowl
07/27 Albuquerque, NM Sandia Casino
07/28 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
07/31 Mount Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino Resort
08/02 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
08/03 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live @ Virginia Beach
08/05 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
08/07 Mashantucket, CT MGM Grand Theater at Foxwood
08/09 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
08/12 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
08/13 Mansfield, MA Comcast Center
08/14 Bethlehem, PA Muzikfest +
08/15 Hershey, PA Hershey Park Pavilion/Stadium
08/17 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
08/18 Indianapolis, IN Indiana State Fair
08/19 Des Moines, IA Iowa State Fair Grandstands
08/20 Chicago, IL Charter One Pavillion +
08/21 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
08/22 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheater
08/25 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair
08/26 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
*denotes Gavin DeGraw headlining show
+ Maroon 5 will not be on this date.