After Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush announced Sugarland’s hiatus, they were sure the country band was going to return. Fans: Not so much.
But with the political climate the way it is, the duo felt it was time for a comeback. Nettles and Bush had something to say.
“The timing is right in the world to do what Sugarland specifically does,” Nettles says. “We are a band who likes to transform pain into hope.
“We like to facilitate healing, encourage people and empower people through music. We offer conversation starters and encourage dialogue. The world and our country are really ripe right now for that encouragement and healing.”
The fruits of Sugarland’s labor will be found June 8 on the album Bigger, which includes the Taylor Swift collaboration, “Babe.” Nettles is pleased with the album’s outcome.
“It’s our best. It’s bigger—no pun intended,” Nettles says with a laugh. “I feel like it has depth and gravity and it’s heartbreaking, beautiful and anthemic. It’s encouraging as well. I’m excited by that. Our coming together, more so than our time apart, really filled our cups. We had a lot to say and it poured out of us.”
During her break from Bush, Nettles learned plenty, but mostly that fans should have realized Sugarland would return.
“We just wanted to come back when the time was right,” she says. “Nobody knew. They’ve watched too much VH1: Behind the Music. They thought it was some dramatic breakup. It was really a hiatus. I hope the fans and the music community like what we do on our own and as an ensemble. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Sugarland w/Brandy Clark and Clare Bowen, Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale, 623.772.3800, gilariverarena.com, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, tickets start at $27.