Sugarland brought in some A-list assistance for the song "Babe."
Taylor Swift, who transitioned out of country and into pop in 2014, wrote the song with Train frontman Pat Monahan. Last fall, she offered the track to Sugarland for their album, Bigger (out June 8 on Big Machine Records and Universal Music Group Nashville). "This collaboration is the perfect combination of mutual admiration for each other and mutual admiration for great songs," Jennifer Nettles said Friday. "As artists, we really see the world through a similar lens."
"Our last hours in the studio have always been good luck," guitarist/vocalist Kristian Bush said. "'All I Want to Do' was from a final session. So was 'Stuck Like Glue.' The biggest compliment was when she heard our take on the track and emailed us to say she wanted to be a part of it!"
On social media, Swift's fans have compared the song to music from her last country album, Red. "We've never put someone else's song on a Sugarland record, but we were immediately interested in 'Babe' the first time we heard it!" Nettles continued. "This one really felt like it belonged so we saved it for the final afternoon of our recording session; a special time for us."
"Babe" follows previously released tracks "Still the Same" and "Bigger."
At the 2018 ACM Awards Sunday, Nettles shared additional details about the origins of "Babe." According to Nettles, Swift "reached out" to them. "We have obviously known each other for many years. When she was just getting started, we had just had our first little EP out called Premium Quality Tunes, and she still has a copy of it that we signed for her whenever we played a couple shows together. And she was excited we were getting back together and reached out, and said, 'Hey, I have a song.' And that is a short list, ladies and gentleman, of people to whom she has said, 'Hey, I have a song. Wanna sing it?' So, we said yes," Nettles told Pop Culture Country. Bush added, "We've never really put a song by anybody else on any of our records, so we weren't really used to sorting through that, and we didn't want to mess it up." As a result, Bush said. they kept it a secret until it was finished. "She liked it, thank God. It is a good song."
Sugarland's Bigger, featuring 11 original tracks, is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The album is a follow-up to the Grammy-winning duo's The Incredible Machine, released in 2010. Swift has continued to work behind the scenes in country music. More recently, she wrote Little Big Town's "Better Man," which was named Song of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.
(E! and Universal Music Group Nashville are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)