Lori McKenna’s new song "Happy Children" debuts today

Lori McKenna’s new song “Happy Children” debuts today

ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM 1988 OUT JULY 21

June 30, 2023—GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Lori McKenna’s new song, “Happy Children,” written with her son, Chris McKenna, is debuting today.

“Happy Children” is the latest song unveiled from McKenna’s anticipated new album, 1988, which will be released July 21 via CN Records/Thirty Tigers (pre-order/pre-save here). Ahead of the release, McKenna has shared two additional tracks: “The Town in Your Heart” and “Killing Me” featuring McKenna’s longtime collaborator, Hillary Lindsey.” 

Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell) and recorded at Cobb’s studio in Savannah, GA, 1988 is named for the year McKenna married her husband, Gene, and serves as a love letter to her family and lifelong friendships. Across these ten compelling tracks, McKenna reflects on the experiences, lessons and relationships from her past 35 years. 

Of the album, McKenna shares, “I was trying to let my age and experience guide me through making a record I wished I’d made when I was younger. I really wanted it to sound like if I made a rock record in the ‘90s, and then I remembered that I made my first album in 1998. There’s something so 30 years ago in my head about this record. In a way I wish I could start again and know what I know now.”

In celebration of the new music, McKenna will embark on her “The Town in Your Heart Tour” next month including headline shows at Philadelphia’s World Café Live, New York’s City Winery, Nashville’s CMA Theater, Atlanta’s City Winery, Ann Arbor’s The Ark and Evanston’s Space among many others. See below for complete tour itinerary.

(photo credit: Becky Fluke)
(photo credit: Becky Fluke)

The release of 1988 adds to a series of landmark years for McKenna and follows three widely acclaimed albums: 2016’s The Bird & The Rifle, 2018’s The Tree and 2020’s The Balladeer, of which the Associated Press praised, “McKenna has by now long established herself as one of the best songwriters working in any genre. And she does it again and again,” while The Tennessean asserted, “one of the sharpest pens in modern country and folk songwriting.” 

In addition to her career as a solo artist, McKenna continues to enjoy tremendous success as one of the music industry’s most in-demand songwriters, having written songs for artist such as Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, George Strait, Sheryl Crow, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill and Reba McEntire. McKenna also co-wrote “Always Remember Us This Way,” which was featured in the Academy Award-winning 2018 film, A Star Is Born. In the past few years, McKenna has also won Best Country Song at GRAMMY Awards three times (The Highwomen’s “Crowded Table,” Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” and Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush”), Song of the Year at the CMA Awards twice (“Girl Crush” and “Humble and Kind”) and was the first female to ever win the ACM Awards’ Songwriter of the Year award.  

Reflecting on the song, McKenna shares, “Happy Children: I heard someone say this once, ‘I wish you happy children.’ Feels like the greatest wish of all time. This song was happily written with my son Chris McKenna. It went through a couple different variations until Dave Cobb brought it so beautifully to life in the studio with the band. If my heart could say just one thing, this song is what it would say.”

LIST
1988 TRACK LIST
1. The Old Woman in Me (written by Lori McKenna)
2. Happy Children (written by Lori McKenna, Chris McKenna)
3. Killing Me feat. Hillary Lindsey (written by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Luke Laird)
4. Days Are Honey (written by Lori McKenna, Barry Dean, Luke Laird)
5. 1988 (written by Lori McKenna, Brian McKenna)
6. Growing Up (written by Lori McKenna)
7. Wonder Drug (written by Lori McKenna)
8. The Town in Your Heart (written by Lori McKenna, Jessie Jo Dillon, Dustin Christensen)
9. Letting People Down (written by Lori McKenna)
10. The Tunnel (written by Lori McKenna, Ben West, Stephen Wilson Jr)
LORI MCKENNA CONFIRMED TOUR DATES
July 20—Philadelphia, PA—World Café Live
July 21—New York, NY—City Winery
July 23—Rockport, MA—Shalin Liu Performance Center
July 28—Brownfield, ME—Stone Mountain Arts Center
July 29—Groton, MA—Groton Hill Music Center
July 30—Woodstock, NY—Levon Helm Studio
August 5—Nashville, TN—The CMA Theater
August 6—Atlanta, GA—City Winery
August 23—Homer, NY—Center for the Arts of Homer
August 24—Cleveland, OH—Music Box Supper Club
August 25—Ann Arbor, MI—The Ark
August 26—Evanston, IL—Space
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