March 18.2014 – The Story Behind “Compass” by Lady Antebellum

Hear the story here!

“It was love at first listen with ‘Compass,’” band member Dave Haywood says. “You hear people talk about songs they knew they couldn’t live without, and this is one of them for us.

This song was written by members of the Norwegian Pop/Rock production team Stargate, who have been responsible for a string of hit singles by such artists as Rihanna (“Diamonds”) and Katy Perry (“Firework”). The blending of a high-spirited sing-a-long banjo-and fiddle-heavy sound with pop-style production represented a new musical direction for Lady Antebellum. “You hear people talk about songs they knew they couldn’t live without, and this is one of them for us,” said Dave Haywood. “Once we all got in the studio to record our parts and really work with the instrumentation, it took on an energy that felt really fresh and different. We tried some new things vocally, and by adding foot stomps and hand claps to the acoustic sounds of the banjo, fiddle and mandolin, it really turned into something special.”

Lady Antebellum took a short break after the release of Golden because of Hillary Scott giving birth to a daughter, Eisele. This was the first song released by the trio after their hiatus. “As we made it our own, we decided we had to share it with the fans immediately…we just couldn’t wait!” said Scott. “They’ve been so patient with us over the last few months as I’ve begun a new chapter in my life personally. Everything takes on new meaning once you have a child, and now I can hear the message of the song through Eisele’s ears too. It opens up a whole new world to you as an artist.”

The song was included on the deluxe edition of Golden.

Scott told Billboard magazine it was a quick process to record the track. “It all happened very fast. We got the song, and within two weeks we were in the studio with it,” she said. “We lived with it for a little while, fell in love with it, and threw some ideas around with what we were going to do with it.”

Hilary Scott explained what the song means to her. “I think what struck me so much with this song is the lyrics,” she said. “It’s really a positive message. It made me think of my daughter. It’s so fresh me being a mother now and having her and wanting her – as she grows up – to dream big and to go after those dreams but to always know she’ll never be alone. She’s got a soft place to fall at home. So that’s who I think of, you know?”

“It’s also an empowering song,” Scott continued. “It’s following your heart. Your heart is your compass, and if you’ re following it, you’re always going to be happy because you’ re gonna be doing what you’ re meant to do. So, I love that too. It can be a about a person, a friend, a parent, child, whoever, spouse, but it can also be about you and the power within yourself.”

The music video for “Compass” was helmed by Peter Zavadil, a veteran Country music video director who also was behind Lady Antebellum’s two previous clips for “Goodbye Town” and “Downtown.”

Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley commented that the band can truly relate to the track. “I think the song hits really close to myself, and I know Dave [Haywood], both moved from kinda the normal job circuit and took a chance and kind of followed our hearts and moved to Nashville,” he said. “It was the best decision we ever made.”

“Our families, though, were there and very encouraging; you know that line, ‘You’ll never be alone.’ And also, ‘Walk, instead of run.’ It’s kind of like, ‘Settle into it.’ You don’t have to chase after it, and I think some people try so hard,” Kelley added. “It’s like, just let yourself settle in to what you know is what you do best in this world and believe in yourself and let it all happen.”

LYRICS: Written by Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Erik Hemransen, Ammar Malik, Ross Golan, Daniel Omelio, Emile Haynie

Yeah it’s been a bumpy road
Roller coasters
High and low
Fill the tank and drive the car
Pedal fast, pedal hard
You won’t have to go that far

You wanna give up ’cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done
You can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh

Forgot directions on your way
Don’t close your eyes don’t be afraid
We might be crazy late at night I can’t wait til you arrive
Follow stars you’ll be alright

You wanna give up ’cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done
You can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh
You wanna give up ’cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done
You can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh

When it’s all said and done
You can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone

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About Robynn

Robynn Jaymes has spent her whole life in radio… 30 years!! And almost half of them have been at Star Country. Originally from Cincinnati, Robynn came to the area as a Liberty University student. Along with all things country music, Robynn is a big fan of Football!—The Virginia Tech Hokies, The Washington Redskins and, of course, the Cincinnati Bengals. And also, “I’m addicted to the Weather Channel,” she says. Right now, Robynn is a big fan if the music coming from Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney! Robynn is also a winner of the Billboard Air Personality of the Year award. Hear all new Warm & Fuzzies with Robynn M-F at 11:45AM!

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