Hunter Hayes has a big 2019 on tap: The country singer-songwriter is preparing a new album and planning his 2019 Closer to You Tour. He also recently released a music video for "Heartbreak," his first radio single in more than two years — and more plans are in the works, too.

"Of course, there’s a next single and more planned," Hayes tells Stage Right Secrets. The thing is, we plan as much as you can plan ahead ... If it feels right, great — we continue. We have very incredible flexible team. They get it, they get how I work, and I love how they work because we can we still pay attention to what’s on our heart and what we feel is right."

Hayes has been working on his next album's track list, a process he says he's "really enjoyed." He's adding strings into this new music, and the album will contain both an intro and interludes — a first for Hayes.

"Gluing it all together is really fun for me," he adds, "so that when people hear it, hopefully they’ll hear it as it happened."

Hayes used journaling, during a solo trip to Hawaii, to create his single "Heartbreak." He bought a guitar in town, and sat down by the ocean, writing his way to the song.

"'I remain an optimist' is probably my favorite line that I’ve put forth from this current album," he says of a lyric in the song. "I think you have to be -- you have to remain that. I like choosing to be happy and this is all for good."

Hayes imbued his "Heartbreak" music video, a Groundhog Day-style scenario, with that same optimism. In the clip, Hayes keeps waking up on the same day, and he can't take out the girl he just asked on a date without repeating his day all over again.

"Colin [H. Duffy, the video's director, is] brilliant, and I started with just, ‘Hey here’s the thing with the record, here’s my life story right now.’ He wrote back, and it was just where I kind of was [in life]," Hayes shares. He adds that he personally enjoyed the story's comedic side: "He really found a very creative and humorous way to tell the story and portray it in such a way that’s hilarious."

In the clip, Hayes gets pelted by newspapers and other random objects while running around to different places. "I’m 100-percent sure I ran a marathon during the course of the two-day filming process. I was so sore I couldn’t walk for the next seven days," Hayes admits. "I hated Colin for a hot probably two hours, and then I got over it and we were buds again."

Hayes' Closer to You Tour takes its name from a line in "Heartbreak." Naming the trek after that lyric, he says, was an easy decision.

"We talked about doing 'The Optimist Tour' because I feel like that’s the spirit of the album," he says, but the theme of his next album "is a lot of transparency through transformation." "Closer to You," then, works as a tour name in multiple ways.

"I wanted that to be the thing that people thought about when they come in for the show, when they’re thinking about going to the show," Hayes adds. "I think a lot of fans have seen our show before, but this is a completely different time for me. I want to feel more connected to everybody."

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