Lady A hasn’t said much publicly since shortening their name last year — removing the “Antebellum” reference out of racial sensitivity — only to find that the updated moniker conflicted with another artist, a Black singer, also known as Lady A.
But as their new collection, What a Song Can Do (Chapter One), arrives today, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley give you a glimpse at what they’re feeling.
“‘Talk of This Town,’ obviously, is about a small town, a relationship,” Charles explains. “But after changing our name…and to feel how something got so twisted in [regards to] our intentions… It was such a hard thing.”
He continues, “You felt like you couldn’t defend yourself or tell your side of the story. I think that was the hardest thing… just feeling like your intentions…are misunderstood.”
Continuing to believe “there’s a purpose to all this,” Hillary took a class in racial diversity, while Charles turned to the writings of Franciscan friar Richard Rohr for guidance.
“Almost every page had something about that you only learn during the dark times and the down times…” Charles reflects. “That’s the only way growth ever really happens. And I started thinking about it and I was like, that’s so true in my life.”
Charles calls “Fire” the track perhaps “most representative of this year for us,” and Hillary seems to agree.
“Not to get super literal with fire,” she adds, “but it’s like, you can either let it burn you up or you can let it refine you.”
Potential legal outcomes aside, it seems clear you can count Lady A among those who’ve come through the fire.
“We leaned on each other so much…” Charles says. “I think we almost bought ourselves more longevity because of going through what we went through.”
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