It’s release day for Sugarland, who are on the road celebrating and promoting their adventurous fourth album, The Incredible Machine. The duo, known for pushing country’s music boundaries, drew from a myriad of influences for the new project which weaves together pop/rock anthems, upbeat country, and even throws in a dash of reggae on the lead single “Stuck Like Glue,” already certified Gold. Among Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush’s inspiration was the ‘80s culture of their youth, citing John Hughes films, and music by The Pretenders and Blondie.
Past success—totaling 8 million albums sold—encouraged Sugarland to slide further away from what might be considered mainstream country on the new album. Bush credits the fans, record label UMG Nashville, and the industry. “It’s as if the industry and the culture have singled out the biggest risks we’ve taken on a record, a song like ‘Stay’ for example, and celebrated those,” he says. “They’ve embraced us at those times. We’ve tried to learn from that and this is what we’ve made…In the story of who we are, this album is more us than we’ve ever been.”
“We are in a place of discovery,” adds Nettles. “It is the essence of who we are as people in this band. There is never a moment where we think, ‘This is good enough.’ There’s always a place for growth.”
Last night Sugarland performed at the Best Buy Theater in New York City as part of “Unstaged: An Original Series from American Express.” Award-winning filmmaker Kenny Ortega (This is It, High School Musical, Dirty Dancing) directed the performance which streamed live on YouTube, and is still available. Surprise guests included Ronnie Dunn, Little Big Town and Jon Bon Jovi.
Tomorrow night (10/20) they return home to Atlanta for an album release party and performance at the Fox Theatre. Then it is off to New York for an appearance on The Today Show, followed by visits to Ellen, Chelsea Lately, Nate, CNN Heroes, CMA Country Christmas and VH1 Divas.
The band has relaunched its website to coincide with the album launch. Built by Ground(ctrl), it will include a fan community, with a new option called the SugarPass, offering more access to the band, advance ticket pre-sales, and limited edition merchandise.
A Deluxe Edition of The Incredible Machine offers a documentary titled Blood Love Hope Lust and Steam that chronicles the creation of the album and tour. The package also includes the music video for the lead-off hit single “Stuck Like Glue,” as well as a never-before-seen live performance music video for the title track.
Sugarland will perform on the CMA Awards and vie to retain their title of Vocal Duo of the Year.