As she puts it, the last two-plus years have felt like a lifetime for Kristen Foreman.
January 25, 2019 was the last time the Louisiana native offered new music for consumption. However, she wasn’t sitting idly since that single, “Falcon ’63,” she was carefully honing in on her sound and the artist she wanted to be when she made her return, with the culmination of that work being her newly released single, “Bench Seat.”
Foreman’s new single, and the sound she has worked towards, turns the dial back to 90s country, as “Bench Seat” lays the steel, fiddle and keyboards on heavy in a breath of fresh, familiar air that may be the best sounding single we’ve heard in 2021.
We chatted with Foreman all about “Bench Seat,” making her return, her artistic identity, resiliency and growth, new music and more!
Pro Country: It’s been more than two years since your last single, “Falcon ’63.” As you were preparing to release your new single, “Bench Seat,” what kind of anticipation were you feeling after that layoff?
Kristen Foreman: It’s kind of funny how just a couple years of not releasing music can feel like a lifetime. I had to kind of remind myself of what exactly goes into promoting a song. When I was getting ready to release this single, it was such a huge high because I feel like I really polished my true sound/style/brand during that downtime. I am extremely excited to share this new direction that I’m working towards. I’m really proud and want to share it immediately! But it’s super important to take it slow and promote it correctly, because it really sucks if no one notices it [laughs]. With that being said, I think I did a decent job at easing back on the radar with everyone that has continued to support me, and I can’t wait to see what this next year will be like!
PC: “Bench Seat” has a more 90s country sound than anything you have released previously. Was leaning further into that sound something you did intentionally, or something that happened naturally as the song came together?
KF: The sound is definitely intentional. I chose “Bench Seat” as the first single because it is a great intro to the theme of this next record.
I grew up on 90’s country music though, and I think I have been leaning towards that sound for a while now.
PC: Can you talk about the inspiration behind “Bench Seat”?
KF: I got the idea when I was seeing this guy who had a bench seat in his truck. I always felt safe and content sitting in the middle next to him anytime we’d ride around town. Being out of the dating game and on the “bench seat” (aka sidelines) was a nice change up from being single, because although it can be exciting, being single can mostly just be exhausting [laughs].
PC: You served as a co-producer on “Bench Seat.” How important is it for you to have a certain level of hands-on input in your music sonically and in the studio?
KF: Having my input on everything is extremely important to me. I want to make sure it’s done right, because once it’s out there, that’s it. I never want to regret releasing a song because I heard it going one direction and someone else decided to go their direction with it instead. I try to speak up and make sure it is exactly what I envisioned it to be. Being in the studio is always magical because you get to see a song go from an acoustic guitar/vocal to a masterpiece. I love being there every step of the way and refining it as it goes along.
PC: On social media, you’ve teased that you have a new album on the way. Why did you feel that “Bench Seat” was the right song to release as the lead single? What information can you give about the album and what listeners can expect to hear?
KF: I think it felt right to release “Bench Seat” first because it’s fun and lighthearted. It’s a great lead in song as we get closer to warmer, roll your windows down weather. It also captures the theme of this next record well. It’s a “Hey, I’m coming out the gate with an up-tempo, 90’s country vibe” type of song, since it’s been a while since I’ve put out anything new. There will be a couple more singles coming out within these next couple months!
PC: When we talked a few years ago around the release of your single “Blackout,” you mentioned that you didn’t feel like it was the right time in your career to release a new album. Why do you feel like 2021 is the right time to return with a full album?
KF: It just hit me one day. I realized I was holding myself back and making excuses because putting out new music can be scary (and expensive) if it flops. I was waiting around for someone on the business side to jump on board and support what I was trying to do, hoping that I’d have a team behind me to help promote it before putting out another. But your girl is tired of waiting, so I just decided to keep on keepin’ on! I have been recording it little by little, rather than all at once, to be able to afford it and that has been working for me so far. I think if I would have kept waiting, it would not have been beneficial for my career.
PC: It’s been nearly five years since you released your debut album, Feather Tattoo. Over the course of those five years, what do you think has been your biggest area of growth? What have you learned about yourself?
KF: My biggest area of growth since that first record has been knowledge. I am a smarter songwriter and I have a better understanding of the industry. When I put out that first record, I was new to town and those were the first songs I had ever written. I am still really proud of that album though. Everybody starts somewhere!
The second question should be what have I not learned about myself [laughs]. I think what I have learned about myself the most is that I am really strong. I have considered giving up on music many times over these past five years, but I keep on hustling, even if I don’t see the results immediately. I think that’s what separates the quitters from the winners.
PC: Along with releasing new music, of the things you can control, what are your plans for 2021?
KF: I plan to just go with the flow of things this year and move forward towards whatever opportunities arise! Last year was an interesting one, so to be honest, I’m still a little skeptical of this one [laughs].
*”Bench Seat” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*
**Images courtesy of Kristen Foreman and Kristen Foreman Facebook page**