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Williams + Hirakawa

Lady Antebellum follows up a record-breaking year with their anticipated new album, Own the Night.

When it comes to country-pop crossover combo Lady Antebellum, one thing you won’t see is the band being chased by screaming fans or paparazzi.

“We have such weird anonymity being in a group,” says singer Charles Kelley, laughing. “If we’re all together and our hair is done up, then we get recognized a lot. But if we’re just walking through an airport with baseball caps on, rarely does anyone really stop us.”

That’s hard to imagine, given that Lady Antebellum — comprising Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood — had one of the biggest albums and songs of recent years with the ubiquitous Need You Now. But rather than take time out to enjoy the fruits of their labors, Lady A returned to the studio hard on the heels of their hit, working through more than 50 songs they’d written or co-written to complete their third and latest album, Own the Night (Capitol, $12). But the recording sessions had to take a backseat to the demands of the band’s burgeoning fame.

“In the middle of making the record, we had to take a week off to play the Grammys,” Kelley says of the ceremony that saw them earn five trophies, including Song and Record of the Year. “Coming back to the studio after the biggest night of our lives, it did feel like the bar had been raised, so to speak.”

Despite their heightened expectations, the band elected to stay the course creatively. “We didn’t try and overthink the music,” Kelley says. “If you try to chase it too much, you change what was true about it in the beginning.”

Own the Night should keep the band’s winning streak going; lead single “Just a Kiss” highlights an impressive 12-track collection that further sharpens the band’s brand of country songcraft and pop melancholy.

No matter how high they continue to climb, Kelley doesn’t expect things to change for him and his bandmates. “We’ve been able to have more success than we ever dreamed,” he says. “But being in a group like ours, it’s not like we have this monster celebrity that can cause this weird tension. Hopefully that’s going to keep us together for a long time.”