AUSTIN -- Lady Antebellum previewed some new music from their upcoming album at South By Southwest while also sharing the spotlight with a pair of Nashville's hottest songwriters.
The trio -- Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood -- were flanked on stage at Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater Thursday night by Nicole Galyon and Mike Busbee, each on keyboards, for the CMA Songwriters Series. The band's first gig at the long-running music festival served as a preview of their upcoming album Heart Break, out in June, Lady Antebellum's first new release in three years.
Busbee, the producer on the album kicked off the show with a rendition of Florida Georgia Line's H.O.L.Y., which he co-wrote.
Haywood and Kelley accompanied Busbee on acoustic guitars with all adding glossy harmonies to the ballad. "Why did we not get pitched this first?" Kelley said afterward.
All five collaborated to write Army, a song on the new album. The core of the song, Scott said, was "what I wish a man would say: if I'm a soldier, you're an army."
Kelley dedicated it to "all the strong women out there."
He later reached down and gave a spin to a woman in the front row dancing to sassy new song, You Look Good.
Galyon performed Automatic, which she co-wrote with Miranda Lambert, right after having her first child. She recalled that as they were writing the song, Galyon was sitting in the other room using her breast pump with Lambert hollering, "don't stop pumping. It's working!"
Busbee also performed Try, a song co-written for Pink, and My Church, a Grammy-winning song for Maren Morris, which he co-wrote on.
Before performing the uptempo title track of their new album, Scott said the inspiration came collectively as each of the band members recalled their mindsets before finding their respective spouses. "There's so many things you're afraid to do when you are single," she said.
But once you do spend some time alone, she said, you realize "I'm good ... (and) you are then ready to meet your forever."