“Same Girl, But Stronger”: Country Singer Carly Pearce Opens Up About Her Fourth Album, ‘hummingbird’

Carly Pearce 'hummingbird' © Allister Ann
Carly Pearce 'hummingbird' © Allister Ann
Singer/songwriter Carly Pearce talks to Atwood Magazine about staying true to country music, what she knows now that she didn’t know at 29, and why the song “my place” is her favourite off her brand new album, ‘hummingbird.’
Stream: ‘hummingbird’ – Carly Pearce

Many people say that seeing a hummingbird means that the healing process can begin, and that good luck is on the way.

I don’t know what’s in the distance, but looking back is a waste of time,” Carly Pearce sings on her powerful new track, “Oklahoma.”

This line seems to sum up Pearce’s journey from her debut album through to the award winning and ruthlessly honest, 29, which changed everything for her. Pearce’s music and songwriting is ever evolving, and she never stays in one place two long, both artistically and lyrically.

With hummingbird (released June 7, 2024 via Big Machine), Pearce chose to co-produce this record alongside Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. This may not seem noteworthy, but with only 3.4% women producers in the entire industry in 2022, compared with 96.6% for men, this is a very big deal for Pearce, who is already huge name in country music!

hummingbird - Carly Pearce
hummingbird – Carly Pearce

On hummingbird, Pearce takes the breath-taking honesty and goes further. She broaches the tough topics with eloquence and feeling, singing about having trust issues (see “trust issues”) until a new lover comes along, she wrestles with another woman taking her place in “my place.” But she can also bring levity and goes the way of Miranda and Carrie setting fire to her ex’s Goodyear tires on “truck on fire,” and plays the bad-tempered wife on her latest single, “fault line,” reminding me of LeAnn Rimes’ “You Ain’t Right.”

Atwood Magazine caught up with Pearce in-between her hectic tour schedule – she is currently opening for Tim McGraw. In our conversation, Pearce opened up about her experience being a co-producer, where the name of the record came from, and what she knows now that she didn’t at 29.

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:: stream/purchase hummingbird here ::
:: connect with Carly Pearce here ::

Carly Pearce © Allister Ann
Carly Pearce © Allister Ann


hummingbird - Carly Pearce

Atwood Magazine: What does a hummingbird mean to you? Why did you decide to call the record hummingbird?

Carly Pearce: I named the album hummingbird because many people say that seeing a hummingbird means that the healing process can begin, and that good luck is on the way. I feel I was on my healing journey while making it.

When did you start writing for the record and when did you finish?

Carly Pearce: Oh gosh, I started writing this record over two years ago! It’s been a process, but I wanted to make sure I got it right. I finished writing for the album last fall.

What was the first song you wrote?

Carly Pearce: “Trust issues”! That’s the song that made me feel like I knew I had a lot to say after 29.

Do you feel like a different artist/person now than the person who started the record?

Carly Pearce: I don’t! I think I feel more confident as both, which is a good feeling.

Carly Pearce 'hummingbird' © Allister Ann
Carly Pearce ‘hummingbird’ © Allister Ann

This record has your first co-producer credit – congratulations! Why this record? What did you find was different being a producer and vocalist on this record compared?

Carly Pearce: I think I was so heavily involved in the musicality of this record that it felt like a no brainer to add co producer. I think there isn’t too much of a different because I’ve always felt like I was really involved in how my records sound, but maybe it’s just that I got the confidence to really go there.

You wrote with some different songwriters this time around. Does that change the way you write and create?

Carly Pearce: I think that getting different songwriters’ spins on your stories and ideas can be extremely beneficial. It’s been fun to get to add a few more flavors to the melodic and lyrical sense of my songs. I think you can hear the way that it has elevated my music.

What is your favourite song on the record?

Carly Pearce: “My place,” for sure. It’s so personal.

Can you talk more about that song? It is full brilliant imagery and metaphors! It’s obviously very personal to you, but also a very universal experience of wondering who replaced us.

Carly Pearce: “My place” is one of my favorite songs on the album. And if I am being honest, it is still hard for me to listen to because of how real it is. I woke up one morning after having a dream that the relationship I was in had ended. In my dream, he had broken up with me and I had to watch him start to move on to someone else. It is almost like my heart knew what was going to happen before it did. I coincidentally had a write that day, and I told the writers in the room about my dream. It is the first and only time that has happened to me.

I think ‘my place’ is a song so many people can relate to. In the world we live in now with social media, it is so easy to look up what your ex is doing, who they’re dating, etc. I think we can all admit that we are guilty of that at some point. It can be difficult to grasp how someone that was once your whole world isn’t anymore. I think this song is my story of the realization and acceptance that it isn’t my place anymore.

The record feels very traditional, particularly the title track, even a little bit bluegrass and Appalachian. What drew you to that sound/vibe?

Carly Pearce: I have always said I wanted to be known for being a “country music purist.” Before working with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, my co-producers, I had moments of that on my records but not in its entirety. Something I am really proud of is that hummingbird is staying true to my roots and where I came from. Outside of childhood talent shows, I got my start in a bluegrass gospel band and fell in love with that type of music. This whole record is the music I have always dreamed of making.

“Oklahoma” …. outside of the title track, this is the song that stood out for me. It’s so atmospheric and emotionally wrenching. What inspired the song? What decisions led to such soaring and emotive music?

Carly Pearce: I wanted to have a song that really was a ‘moment in time’. This song is such a vibe and I think it really takes me back to those 90s female country hits that made me want to do this for a living.

How do you compare this album to 29? I know how much that song and record mean to you.

Carly Pearce: I think it’s the same girl, yet more mature and more in tune with who she is. I had to go through the events of 29 to get to this place and I’m proud of where I’m at now.



“Truck on fire” is such a fun song – I don’t think Carly Pearce has ever committed arson in her songs. You now join the ranks of Carrie and Miranda! Where did that song come from? It’s got a great play on words in the chorus.

Carly Pearce: Ha! I wanted to have just a big ole girl anthem. This song was a play-off of the nursery rhyme “liar, liar pants on fire.” It’s so fun and such an ear worm!

What do you know now that you didn’t know at 29?

Carly Pearce: That I can get through anything.

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:: stream/purchase hummingbird here ::
:: connect with Carly Pearce here ::

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hummingbird - Carly Pearce

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an album by Carly Pearce

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