Dierks Bentley Announces New Album, 'Black'

Dierks Bentley has revealed details of his upcoming eighth studio album, Black.

Set for release in early 2016, Black explores the dynamics of long-term love and the road that led to commitment.

"It's a relationship album," Bentley said in a statement. "And to do it right, I had to dig deep as a writer, dig into the Nashville songwriting community, and record songs that explore the shadows and edges of the heart. The songs on Black range from the lonesomeness of an impossible relationship to ones that describe the feeling of finding that person that makes you forget the one that broke your heart."

The 40-year-old says his latest project is a big departure from his previous releases. "There's a realness to the concept, the songs, the process and the production," Bentley explains. "Black is mysterious and sexy and has an edge that describes the sounds we were going for. A lot of it happens after dark, in the black of night. It's personal too...Black is my wife's maiden name."

The country star recruited producer Ross Copperman and executive producer Arturo Buenahora Jr, who also worked on his most-recent album Riser, to begin the project back in February 2015. After he wrapped up his massive Sounds of Summer tour, Bentley put the final touches on what is likely to be one of the most interesting and evolved releases of his career.

Although most of us will have to wait a few more months before we get to hear Black in full, Bentley says he's excited for his fans to hear his newest labor of love. The importance of being true to himself, his sound and his fans is what has kept Bentley both centered and inspired as an artist.

"I ask myself all the time, 'Why keep doing this?'" he told EW. "If I wasn't exploring or finding something to write about that was personal or meant something, there'd be no reason. If I was ever making a record just to make a record, or ever just like, 'Just put something out there that someone will buy,' I would quit. I really would."

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Dierks Bentley Announces New Album, 'Black'