"I feel like I'm blessed beyond explanation," the country singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE. "So turning 40 felt perfect and validating"

By Tricia Despres
June 04, 2021 05:55 PM

The last thing Brett Young wanted to do was turn 40 years old.

"I thought that it was going to be terrifying, because turning 30 years old actually messed with me a little bit," the country music hitmaker says with a laugh during a recent interview with PEOPLE about his milestone birthday this past March. "But it ended up being a very pleasant experience. I'm married to the girl I've been in love with for 13 years. We had our first child, and we have another child on the way, and I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be in my life at this age. And it's the first age I've ever felt that way."

It's a strong statement from the California native with the Southern charm and the insane amount of talent. And it's his honest truth. Heck, he'd be the first to admit that he likes a good, tailored golf shirt over a flannel any day of the week. But yes, just like the rest of us, Young is growing up.

And he likes it.

"I always felt like I was chasing something, and I don't feel like that anymore. I feel like I'm blessed beyond explanation. So turning 40 felt perfect and validating and yeah — it did not mess with me at all."

Brett Young
Brett Young
| Credit: Seth Kupersmith

And it's this peace paired with his current reality that can be heard within each cut of his new album, Weekends Look a Little Different These Days, out Friday.

"All of the songs felt like they all fit within the realm of 'weekends look a little different these days,'" explains Young, who has scored seven consecutive No. 1 hit songs as of late, including "Catch," "Mercy" and the most tender of romantic anthems "In Case You Didn't Know." "And since we had that song ready to go, it felt like the most honest title for the record."

Granted, Young has long found great success writing what he knows. And understandably, he doesn't sway too far from that philosophy on this new collection of songs, which has already scored a No. 1 within the sugary sweet love song to his wife Taylor and 19-month-old daughter Presley Elizabeth titled "Lady," which he co-wrote alongside fellow Nashville wordsmiths Ross Copperman and Jon Nite.

"I don't want to abandon that," explains Young about speaking his truth in his songs. "That's how I remain vulnerable and accessible to my fans. I feel like my fans deserve to hear me pull the curtain back even more. Just because I'm in a different chapter of my life right now doesn't mean that I'm going to stop that part of the vulnerability."

Yet, at the same time, Young admits to pushing himself into some uncharted territory also.

"It was a kind of challenge that I put on myself," says Young, who recently announced plans for a fall headlining tour and his very own music festival to take place in Palm Springs this September. "I didn't want to put out a record full of songs for my daughter. I have a responsibility to the fans, fans that have been fans since the first record, to continue to give a little bit of something for everybody.  So I told myself that, basically, you have to write sad songs when you're not sad and you have to write new love, new romance songs when you're married and it's not brand new."

Young also was open to pushing himself vocally on this new collection, with the help of longtime producer Dann Huff.

"He's opening new worlds to me as a singer," Young admits. "He knows me, and he knows my voice and he understands that I've put limitations on myself that aren't actually there. So yeah, he pushes me all the time."

Brett Young
Brett Young
| Credit: BMLG Records

And getting pushed out of his comfort zone is just fine with Young, because he knows it signals growth, not only in himself but in all of the people he loves.

"Presley is just now getting to the point where when she plays with dolls, she mimics how my wife is with her," Young says of the couple's preparations for their second daughter, due this summer, including a rebuilt, family-friendly tour bus. "It's good, because she's just naturally learning. She's so sweet with other kids and she loves babies."

And she loves her daddy.

"She's at this age now where she lays down on me and cuddles, and it makes me wonder how does my heart have enough love for two?" Young questions aloud. "I have that conversation with people that have two and three and five kids, and they tell me it just does. They say your heart is going to explode in the best way. So, we're not even trying to plan for it. We're just excited to figure it out."