Sugarland is finally back together following a five-year break. Earlier this month, the dynamic country duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush hit the stage to perform live in Dublin for the Country to Country Festival. They also played two more C2C shows in London and Glasgow. The appearances come ahead of the upcoming Still the Same 2018 Tour.
Bush was thrilled with the Dublin crowd’s response. "The first show together in Dublin was awesome," Bush said in an interview with Rolling Stone Country. "It was fantastic. The crowd was awesome, and it was fun to watch fans – you could tell they were longtime fans – flipping out. It's the way you want them to flip out if it's your band you love."
Both artists pursued solo careers during Sugarland’s hiatus. Kristian Bush released his debut solo album, Southern Gravity, in 2015 and it peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Heatseekers chart and No. 16 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart. Nettles’ 2014 debut solo album That Girl debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and hit No. 1 on the U.S. Top Country Albums chart. Her second studio album, Playing with Fire, dropped in 2016. It debuted at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 10 on the Billboard 200. She followed it with her first Christmas album, To Celebrate Christmas, later that same year.
Fans are thrilled the Grammy-winning duo has reunited, will be touring together again and will release a new album, which is slated to drop sometime in late summer. Bush will co-produce the record and while he didn’t give specific details, he did reveal the album came together quickly and they streamlined the process by figuring out a lot of things in advance.
“In four days, we made the record," he said. "We make records pretty fast. We put a lot of thought into cycling, into pre-production, so the album itself is a performance …”
Nettles felt like they relied on creative “muscle memory” in the writing process and felt compelled to create healing music. "A lot of times, we will do things and not necessarily know where the calling is from, until we answer it," Nettles said. "So, in coming back together, and the music that we have written, it's become really clear to me that we are making music that people need to hear right now. Not just as Sugarland, but in the world. I think the messages and the themes that are in this music will be healing.”
"Fortunately, or unfortunately," she added, "the world is ripe right now for lots of healing and conversation."
Bush talked about what fans can expect in Sugarland's upcoming tour in an AXS interview. He said, "The new tour is going to be a strong combination of everything you can imagine. Songs you know along with some of the new stuff we’re putting together with a lot of high energy. It will feel like a live rock show mixed in with your favorite country show. Sugarland fans come to the show to go through these feelings with us. They’re epic shows with everything I love about a live performance."
Sugarland’s upcoming album will mark the duo’s sixth studio album together. It follows their chart-topping fifth studio album, The Incredible Machine, which was released in 2010. The U.S. leg of the Still the Same Tour kicks off in Oklahoma on May 4. It also includes a stop at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Tuesday, June 12. (Click here to purchase tickets from AXS.)