And then yesterday, she shared a new teaser on Instagram with the caption:
“The one before The Dream… narrated by the one and only Luke Grimes.”
A nod to her sophomore album, The Dream, the new album, Raised, appears to be a prequel of sorts.
With ‘The Dream,’ I was starting to turn that corner back home, but this record went straight there. If ‘The Dream’ were my wings, then Raised is my roots.
The video itself is super cool, with plenty of gorgeous shots of the heartland, and her native Iowa. Possibly the coolest part, though, is that the beautiful poem that plays along with the stunning shots was narrated by the one and only Luke Grimes (aka Kayce Dutton on Yellowstone):
“Home: where the story begins. Where crops rise to meet the sun, roots run deep through generations, and family is more than a last name. Your bare feet stood planted in this dirt and these fields taught you to fly.
Home: a place standing in time against the spinning world past the county line. Where your boots left, but your heart will always be. You make the turn onto that last chert rock road and the sun dips as a bittersweet reminder that ‘though you can always return, you can never go back’.
But a part of you will always be there, because no matter how far you’ve gone and how much you’ve grown, this is where you were raised.”
Luke is currently working with the management team of Hailey Whitters, and is planning to write some country music of his own this year. Maybe we’ll even see a co-write on something from these two one day.
In the meantime, Hailey is ready to release her next album on March 18th, an ode to her hometown of Shueyville, Iowa, what she calls “the sound of Hailey Whitters going home.”
“It’s been 14 years since I’ve lived in Iowa, but more and more I’ve been going back there mentally and being pulled to the people and the places that raised me.
If you’re listening to ‘The Dream,’ I think you hear a girl hanging on. She’s had her heart broken, but she’s finding a way to persevere and to keep going. And when you listen to ‘Raised,’ you hear what gave her that strength.”
Produced by Jake Gear, the 17-track album visits themes of home, family, community, and of course, that hometown bar:
“It’s that bittersweet experience of walking back into your hometown bar. It’s like everything’s changed, but nothing really has.”
On the surface, Raised is a story about growing up in the Midwest, but no matter where you’re from many of the themes of growing up are universal.
“’Raised’ is a celebration of the Midwest, but I think it’s a common story no matter where you’re from. My experience growing up in the middle of the country is very relatable to a lot of people. We’ve all lived in a similar way, the only thing that’s different is the scenery.”