You know the feeling—someone hooks you, their smile, their laugh, the touch of their hair. You like it all and just when you think it might be more, they’re up and gone. Twenty-nine-year-old country singer Brett Eldredge does and channeled it all into a soulful, pining country song for his anticipated new album, Illinois, due out Sept. 11.
“I was in this situation with this girl where I thought she was totally into it,” Eldredge says, explaining the song’s roots. “I thought, ‘Wow this might be the girl,’ but it turns out she was just going to give me just enough where I wanted her all the time before she left.”
The song, streaming below, matches what’s been shared from the album so far (lead single, “Lose My Mind” and a PEOPLE exclusive, “Fire”) in that it’s a fuller soul than his earlier 2013 debut, Bring You Back, which included three consecutive no.1 songs, by the way.
Illinois is named for Eldredge’s home state but rather than meant to serve as an homage to the actual state of Illinois, it’s more an ode to the notion of “home.” “No matter how far you go in life, the place you come from and call home will always mean something dear,” he says. “Starting with that as the title was important to me—these songs are all my story.”
Eldredge has a writing credit on every song on the album, which wasn’t necessarily a goal as it was just how it happened. “I’m a songwriter at heart and I’ve always wanted to show that,” he says. “I just hit this groove with songwriting this time, it’s the most comfortable and the best I’ve ever felt in the studio.”
Eldredge’s first big break came when he served as an opener on Taylor Swift’s Red tour. This fall he’ll head out on CMT On Tour, co-headlining with Thomas Rhett. A full list of dates are expected to be announced soon.