Well, it might be a bad day for love, but it's certainly a good day for Ernest fans. Earlier in the week, the chameleonic singer-songwriter confirmed that three new tracks would be released on Friday December 16. But when the day arrived, Ernest surprised listeners by revealing that these would form part of a deluxe version of 2022's Flower Shops.
The revamped project is entitled FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses, and for the new project, Ernest looks set to reprise his role as the troubled romantic that drove the original album.
Fans will be excited to hear that Ernest will be returning once again to the palette of alluring crimsons and deep orchids that he used to paint the rich, vibrant textures of Flower Shops. The album, which pivoted around the Platinum, Morgan Wallen-assisted title track, was selected as one of Holler's Albums of the Year 2022.
The new artwork portrays Ernest in the same location as on the original cover, but stripped of his trademark ballcap and sunglasses. The image, which was created by Ernest's wife, Delaney Royer, seems to have been shot in the morning, as opposed to the dusk of the original artwork. Symbolism for a brighter dawn, perhaps, instead of the sun setting on the protagonist's relationship?
Based off the three-pack of songs that dropped today, the deluxe version of Flower Shops will focus predominantly on the despair of heartbreak, but there may still be room on the 24-song project for the sweet, rose-tinted romance that underpinned Ernest's debut album, Locals Only.
‘Unhang The Moon’ is a classic country ballad, fuelled by generous helpings of steel-guitar, while ‘Miss That Girl’ steers in a more uptempo direction. Heartache is still the muse, but the addictive hook will no doubt propel this straight onto Country Radio and turn this into a crowd favourite at Ernest's live shows in 2023.
Ernest teased the last of the trio, ‘Songs We Used To Sing’, earlier in the year, and fans have been clamouring for its release ever since. The nostalgic track name-checks Willie Nelson's ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’, and finds Ernest lamenting the fact that he can no longer listen to his former flame's favourite songs, due to the painful memories that they reignite.
Today's exciting announcement comes barely a week after Ernest released an acoustic version of ‘Comfortable When I'm Crazy’. The video forms part of his Salvage Sessions series, and we can't help but wonder whether some of the new tracks from FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM): Two Dozen Roses will also receive this raw, stripped-back treatment.
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