Ashley Monroe isn’t known for writing bubbly, feel-good music, but her latest single “On to Something Good” is changing that.
Ashley Monroe has made a name for herself in Nashville by writing dark, truth-telling tales that dig at the emotional core of everyday life. But the first single from her upcoming sophomore record and her first for Warner Brothers Nashville focuses on the bright side of her hard-won fame.
The singer recently spoke to Billboard about her new direction.
“I really wanted to challenge myself,” the singer told Billboard.” I tried to think of some Sheryl Crow songs I love that are uptempo and make you feel good. I love those songs, I’ve just never written one.”
After co-writing with hit songwriters Luke Laird and Barry Dean, Monroe achieved what she was after with “On to Something Good.”
“I really think it’s important to express hope to people — and to myself — that if you’re alive and breathing, you’re doing so for a reason, even if you’ve been through hell in the past. I think it’s a way to say ‘Keep going.’ I love the line ‘I’m better dancing when I don’t look down.’ Just live. Don’t overanalyze. Just go with it. It’s a happy-sounding song. Who would have thought it?”
None of this is to say Monroe is constantly bummed out. When asked about the inspiration for her songs, she admitted that being happy doesn’t generally drive her to write – she simply exists in the moment and allows herself to be happy. But being in a dark place or seeing the darkness around her, helps the words flow.
“When I’m happy, I’m not inspired to write about it as much. I’ll go to the park, for a walk, or simply go be happy. But it’s in my dark moments that I feel the heavy heart that I want to write about.” Not wanting her fans to worry about her, she jokes: “It’s an important song for me to say that I’m not always in that dark place.”
Though a name and release date haven’t been set for the album, we do know Monroe is in the studio working with Vince Gill and Justin Niebank, who produced her last record Like A Rose.
Fans of her previous work shouldn’t fret, though – there are still plenty of dark cuts to be expected. “Bombshell” is about the bombshells we have to drop on those we love throughout life, and “If Love Was Fair” is a confessional about being the heartbreaker.
Her songwriting roots run deeper than her solo performing career, and she’s currently enjoying the success of another co-written No. 1 with Blake Shelton’s “Lonely Tonight”.
“I’m so grateful. I know Blake cares for his career, and he wants to have a No. 1 record, obviously, but I truly think he wants this one more for me than himself. Our friendship runs so deep and we have known each other for so long. It’s so cool that it has come to this point that he is using his spotlight to let me shine. He texted me on Monday night and said, ‘We’re number one. Carry on.'”