A year after releasing her debut album, The Project, in 2017, Lindsay Ell has a lot to say. The country artist admits that, for her, any length of time away from creating new music is too long, whether that's a year or just a couple of days.

"I think, when I finished my last record, the day after, I was already thinking about my next record," Ell tells The Boot. "It's just how my brain works. And it's been an incredible year touring, but I feel like every time I've been back to Nashville for a few days, I've been writing and gathering songs for the next record."

The singer goes on to say that she can glean inspiration from pretty much anywhere, including the road, which she's been seeing a lot of as she continues her headlining Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. Still, there's no place like Nashville for recording sessions and fruitful collaborations, and Ell confesses that she can't wait to get back into the studio and get down to the brass tacks of crafting a new project.

"Kristian Bush, my fearless producer, and I, will be getting back in the studio in December to start recording album number two, and I'm so excited about it," Ell shares. "I have tons of ideas. Thankfully, as a producer, he's patient enough to help me sort through them all and figure out what's right and what's wrong."

Bush produced The Project as well as Ell's 2018 The Continuum Project, a track-by-track cover of John Mayer's 2006 studio album, Continuum, which Ell put together as a kind of "homework assignment" for Bush, and which she subsequently released in response to fan demand. Ell and Bush have long had a strong working relationship; in fact, during the summer of 2018, they formed a free-form, loosely defined and mostly onstage band called the Speakeasy Social Club.

In that configuration, the duo appears onstage occasionally and without much warning, and its impromptu nature makes it difficult to predict where the Speakeasy Social Club might pop up. However, knowing that Bush and Ell will be in the studio together makes it easy to wonder if Bush might make an appearance as an artist -- not just a producer -- on Ell's next project.

"The coolest thing I love about Kristian is that nothing's ever off limits," Ell explains. "But he's almost the most respectful producer that I really have ever worked with, [in terms of] just helping cultivate the perfect environment for me as an artist, as a musician, as an artist to create without him trying to influence in one way or another."

For example, Ell loves co-writing with Bush, but as her producer, he doesn't write with her that often: "He's quite possibly one of my favorite writers I've ever written with, but he's really careful not to write with me too much because he doesn't want to be biased towards any of those songs when we go into the studio," she adds. "Not everybody would do that."

While it's probable that their studio sessions will focus exclusively on Ell's voice and creative decisions, you never know what might happen. "I think we're just gonna go into the studio and see what the songs say and where they take us," Ell says. "Who knows where they may lead? It's kind of exciting, from that standpoint."

New Albums Coming in 2019