Bigger Houses

Bigger Houses

Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney didn’t plan to make the album Bigger Houses. Both members of the wildly successful country duo found themselves feeling burned out and a bit disillusioned after the whirlwind of success that followed their smash 2018 single “Tequila” and the similarly massive 2019 Justin Bieber collaboration “10,000 Hours.” “We just got to this place where we both got off the road and were just really crispy,” Mooney tells Apple Music. “We were just burnt. Just like, ‘Man, that wasn't as fun as it should have been.’ We were just so tired going on and on and on and on, doing all these incredible things. You reach all these goals, but so much had built up over time and you just resent what you have to do.” After a long, honest conversation, though, the pair were able to reconnect not just with one another but with what made them fall in love with music in the first place: connecting with fans, spending time together, finding catharsis through song. Some casual hangouts quickly became writing sessions, and Bigger Houses began to take shape. “We allowed ourselves to really spend time with each other, to focus on the music, to write songs like we did when we first moved to town with an acoustic guitar or with a piano,” Smyers tells Apple Music. “We weren't forcing anything or we weren't trying to be something or we weren't saying, ‘Okay, cool, we had this song with Bieber, now what do we do from there?’ It wasn't a very intentional pivot. It was just being ourselves for the first time in a long time.” Bigger Houses opens with the jubilant “Breakin’ Up With a Breaking Heart,” a breezy kiss-off reminiscent of Rascal Flatts. “Save Me the Trouble” is an arena-ready power ballad a la “Tequila,” making the most of the pair’s vocal chemistry. Other highlights include the infectious two-stepper “Heaven + Back” and the LP’s title track, which closes the record on a note of vulnerable gratitude.

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