Carly Pearce's career and life have changed substantially since she put out her full-length studio debut, 2017's Every Little Thing. In that time, she's earned her first No. 1 hit, scored major awards and nominations, toured all around the world, gotten married and come into her own as an artist and performer. Now, with the release of her self-titled sophomore album just around the corner, Pearce says she can't wait to catch fans up on all the changes in her life.

"So much has happened to me that has made me, I guess. That first record, I was searching and hoping that people in country music would embrace me. Now I know that I have a place in the genre, which is amazing," Pearce explained at the 2019 ASCAP Country Music Awards last November.

"I had, just, more confidence with that [when I was making my second album]. So many great things happened to me that gave me the confidence to know, 'People want to hear what you have to say,'" she continues.

One of Pearce's biggest champions as she worked on Carly Pearce was her producer, Busbee, who helped her develop her musical sound and incorporate her personal life into her next batch of songs. "I told Busbee when we went in, I wanted it to be an evolution of music as a woman," Pearce says.

In late September, Busbee died at the age of 43, following a battle with brain cancer. In light of that loss, Pearce says her new project has taken on an even greater meaning.

"Obviously, it's taken on a little bit of a bittersweet thing for me, because it was the last record that [Busbee] finished before he passed away, tragically," Pearce notes. "That takes on an extra special meaning for me. I feel like it's my duty to make him proud with this music."

Now that the album's release is less than a month away, though, Pearce says her overarching feeling is excitement at being able to finally let fans in on a new chapter of her life. "[The record] has been finished for a while, so just being able to finally have an end date to it, and to be able to put these songs out, [is amazing]," she adds.

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