Thomas Rhett Talks New Single 'Crash and Burn'

(Radio.com) Thomas Rhett may have just earned his third No. 1 hit in a row last month, with "Make Me Wanna," but that doesn't mean he's putting things on cruise control.

Instead, the 2015 ACM Best New Artist nominee is already moving his music in new directions, in advance of what will only be his second album, due later this summer.

"I've been just so inspired by so many different things that I wanted to explore a different side of my voice, a more soul-filled side of my songwriting," he tells Radio.com. It's a bold move for a relatively new artist to shake things up, but then again, it's bold artists who tend to be the most exciting--and enduring.

The first hint of this new sound comes via Rhett's brand-new radio single, "Crash and Burn," which dropped this week. "It's the most different single I've ever put out," says Rhett, "very throwback to the '50s and '60s." Indeed, while it's a song about dealing with heartbreak, melodically it's actually very upbeat, with a killer hook, a snappy beat and an arrangement that nods strongly in the direction of Motown.

"The first time I heard the demo of 'Crash and Burn' I was like, 'I gotta have this song,'" says Rhett. One listen and you can hear why, even though heartbreak isn't a subject he's dabbled in much up to this point--or, actually, at all. "I have never released a heartbreak song," he admits. "I didn't even have a heartbreak song on my whole first record."

The new album is still in process, and the song list isn't finalized yet. In fact, there may still be some last-minute surprises. "I feel like that's the hardest part of making a record," he says. "When people know you're finishing your record, they're constantly sending you their best songs and their newest songs."

While he admits being enamored right now with this soul-based sound from half a century back, he also notes that the album will include "a huge variety of songs." Perhaps even, he hints, a song cowritten with Eric Church--an experience he calls "one of the coolest moments of my life."

Rhett filled Radio.com in on the story behind his new single "Crash and Burn," how dancing with his grandma helped inspire his new music and where he is in the process of finalizing his new album. Read the full interview here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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