For those of us who aren’t die hard country fans, the fact that Shania Twain was absent from the music scene at all is news to us – we just assumed she abandoned the mainstream and was quietly topping the country music charts this whole time. Insanely, though, turns out Twain hasn’t released an album of new music since 2002’s Up! (the follow-up to her monster release Come On Over). In a 2009 letter to her fans, she explained that the turmoil of her divorce and time spent raising her son had put music on the back burner, but she was hard at work on a new album.
That was eight years ago.
So what happened? In an expansive piece with Rolling Stone, Shania revealed her dysphonia diagnosis (a vocal cord disorder that causes hoarseness and trouble speaking). Therapy has got her ready to perform again, but listeners will notice a slightly changed, deeper voice when she does. This might be odd at first for some fans, but it was an even bigger adjustment for Twain.
“I’m a different singer now,” she said. “There was a lot of coming to terms with that. It’s been one of the obstacles in my life I’ve just had to learn to live with.”
After a popular Las Vegas show and wildly successful 2015 tour, Twain has decided it’s finally time to release new music. The new tunes are said to be far removed from her poppy 90s hits, which pretty much created the radio-friendly pop-country sound that rules the airwaves today.
“I told anyone getting involved musically to forget about my other records… I wanted a more organic approach,” she explained. “I was reflecting on the darkness.” Songs like “Who’s Gonna Be Your Girl” and “Swinging With My Eyes Closed” address the insanity of her break with husband and producer Mutt Lang. (In case you missed it, Lang cheated on her with her best friend, whose ex-husband Twain later married. Very All My Children.)
The as-of-yet unnamed album should be out in May, but its first single is set to be released as soon as next month.