FIRST LISTEN: Canaan Smith's New Single 'Like You That Way' — and Why It Namechecks Miranda Lambert
It’s been almost two years since Canaan Smith released his debut studio album, Bronco, and his faithful fans can now get a taste of what he’s been working on since.
In an exclusive PEOPLE debut, the singer-songwriter, 34, is finally ready to release the first song from his impending album.
“[‘Like You That Way‘] is less of a departure [from Bronco] and more of a progression,” Smith tells PEOPLE. “Musically, it draws from some of my Virginia Beach upbringing. Sonically, it’s simpler and more organic.”
As for the inspiration behind his latest single, Smith revealed there are two leading ladies in his life that served as muses for the lyrics — “my wife [Christy] and Miranda Lambert. I live with one and I listen to the other.”
But as Smith looks forward to sharing his new music with fans, he can’t help but recall what sharing Bronco with the world meant to him as an artist.
“I learned that no matter where I go, there are people like me in the crowd,” Smith said. “The song ‘Bronco’ became a story we all could relate to in some way. And when you connect with people on that level, you have a bond that can’t be broken.”
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And while Smith’s new music may sound different, he promises there will be “more songs to relate to, party to, break up to, make up to, and hopefully find stuck in your head.”
“Stories are what country music is all about. I guess I’m just trying to write my own,” he added.
Smith will join the fair and beach music festival scene this summer, with appearances everywhere from California to Minnesota.
“I’m most excited to bring new music to the fans on the road,” Smith explained. “We’ve played ‘Like You That Way’ a few times in front of a live crowd at home and when we were touring overseas in Europe, and the crowd reaction is always a great barometer. The reaction to the song so far has been amazing, so I can’t wait for more people to have the the chance to hear it.”