When "American Idol" season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina took the stage at the 2013 CMT Next Women of Country showcase, she was determined to prove her worth. She had yet to achieve notable chart success, armed with only one studio album, 2011's Wildflower--a sun-bleached pop-country record of mostly fluffy hooks, a few minor story-driven songs but little else. The LP did not spawn any big hits, and the singer (perhaps a little dejected and jaded) stepped out of the spotlight to focus on her songwriting and deal with a troubled personal life. But on that day, back in November 2013, Alaina opened her heart in a way she never had before, performing the sorrowful autobiographical tune "Same Day Different Bottle," a sweeping mid-tempo about her father's struggle with alcoholism. It was a moment and performance which cemented her potential as country music's next superstar.
Three years later and Alaina is setting her sights on her sophomore album called Road Less Traveled. Ahead of the album release later this month, the singer has finally released a recording of that track; the production is lonesome and mostly barren, with enough traditional flourishes to give it a pulse. Alaina's vocal is as sharp and potent as ever, and she would be wise to release it to radio next--following the Top 20 (and rising) success of "Road Less Traveled," a decidedly more pop-bent song about empowerment and overcoming adversity.
"Oh Jim Beam, makes you mean, a couple shots and you'll be ready for a fight. When I look into those bourbon eyes, I see a man that I don't recognize," she laments on "Bottle"s opening lines. "I wish you would, be a little bit stronger, and I wish I could turn that whiskey into water."
"Same day, different bottle. Every night I pray, you'll pour it down the drain," she then cries out on the chorus. "Yeah, I know, the truth is hard to swallow. But you can't keep going on and on and on this way...same day, different bottle." Later, on the second verse, she details the pain even further, wailing, "I've watched you try to drown the past, but those demons just keep draggin' you back. In my heart, there's still no doubt someday you'll hit your knees and finally bottom out. I want so bad to help you stop the bleeding. But you get so mad, when I ask you what you're needing."
Road Less Traveled drops everywhere Jan. 27.
The singer previously expressed her frustrations over the album process and finally being able to release new music, saying “I have felt just about every feeling you could feel about this album. There were moments where I never thought it would come out. There were moments where I thought I could not write another song, and there were moments where it was all I was living for. I mean, like, that’s all I thought about. I woke up every morning obsessing over it, and to have a long time between the albums is really rare. Five years is a long time to not have an album out. So, to have new music out and a date and a definite time it’s gonna come out, I’m just, I could not be more excited.”
Grab "Same Day Different Bottle" now on iTunes.
Stay tuned to AXS.com for any and all updates.
Take a listen to "Same Day Different Bottle" below: