Hilary Duff’s last studio album was 2007’s Dignity, an impressive dance-pop record that was almost entirely co-written by Hilary. It was her third album – not including her Christmas record and hits compilation – and marked a clear change in sound compared to her previous efforts. Dignity was praised by critics, but unfortunately the album did not have great sales.
Hilary released a second greatest hits compilation – Best Of Hilary Duff – in late 2008, and not much else since then. Aside from her movie soundtrack song, “Any Other Day,” Hilary Duff has not released any new music in years. Her anticipated fourth studio album has been long awaited, and in the works for nearly as long.
In 2014, Hilary released two new singles. “Chasing The Sun” was her laid-back buzz single, while “All About You” was the more pop first single. Since their releases, Hilary spent the last few months of the year filming for a new TV show called Younger – it will premiere in March 2015. Hilary returned to the studio in January 2015 – this time in Sweden, and with hit maker Tove Lo. Within two months, Hilary assured fans that the album was done and a single was coming soon. “Sparks” was the new single, and was released on April 7th. On May 15th, Hilary confirmed that her new album would be called Breathe In. Breathe Out., and it was set to be out on June 16, 2015.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. was a welcome return to music for Hilary Duff, and despite the 8 year break between albums, it was one that showed growth in Hilary’s writing and singing. The album was even better than fans may have hoped for, and exceeded sales expectations in its opening week, debuting in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 charts.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. takes the listener through the ups and downs of life, all the while maintaining a positive energy and quirky lyrics. Songs like “Confetti,” “Tattoo,” “Lies,” and the title track are standouts on the album, while the bonus track “Outlaw” was worthy of standard-edition inclusion. Every song on the album is amazing, and overall Breathe In. Breathe Out. is an impressive pop album that stands as perhaps the best that Hilary has released yet.
Early Stages: Pregnant Hilary Duff Begins New Album in 2012
In late 2011, Hilary casually mentioned on Twitter that she was getting voice lessons. In an interview with eOnline, she revealed:
I sing in my car so much and we always have music in the house. I think he really likes it. I just recently started taking vocal lessons again. I want to eventually make another record. It just seems like a good time because I’m sitting idle a little bit. I feel very lucky to be able to not have to work during this pregnancy. I’ve been painting a lot and cooking and we’ve moved and I exercise all the time. And I’ve just been able to be me and be calm and really mellow during this time, and try to enjoy the peace and quiet. But I was also like I don’t want to waste this time because I want to get my voice in shape. He kicks me.
Two months later, in January 2012, Hilary entered the studio. She worked with Matt Squire and Ali Tamposi as she wrote and recorded material.
— Matt Squire (@matt_squire) January 11, 2012
— Ali Tamposi (@alitamposi) January 11, 2012
Based on the excited tweets above, the music was going well and was shaping up to be a great record. Hilary slowed down once her son Luca was born in March. She had meetings in June 2012, and returned to the studio in July to record more songs. She revealed that she wrote a new song in August 2012… and then there was nothing.
Months passed with no updates from Hilary on the progress of her new music. It wasn’t until an interview in April 2013 that she announced that she had the “itch” to get back to new music.
New Beginning: Hilary Scraps Previous Works and Starts New 4th Record in 2013
Around the 10th anniversary of Hilary’s debut album, Metamorphosis, new information finally surfaced regarding her return to music. Idolator got an exclusive interview with Hilary in which she revealed important details. To start? The 13-14 songs she worked on in 2012 will most likely not appear on her new album:
That was over a year back when I was just not talking about it, but wanting to flex my muscles again in the studio. That sound isn’t really where I want to go.
Although she doesn’t specify what her work with Matt Squire, Ali Tamposi, and Martin Johnson sounded like, based on the co-writers’ previous work, it may have been a pop-rock style akin to that of Avril Lavigne or Kelly Clarkson. Instead of continuing from this, Hilary revealed a different direction: Dance with a focus on lyrics.
I’m super into EDM. I have a big long list of people I want to work with and a pretty clear direction or where I want to go.
My music has always been very lyrically driven. I care so much about that. So that’s my only thing. There are so many artists that I love but I’m like, ‘I can’t connect to that, so I don’t really know what it means.’ It’s too abstract for me to follow. I can still sing along and love it, but I’m not totally stuck on it, because I’m really attracted to lyrics. I want to keep that in the back of my mind.
Late 2013 marks the true beginning of Hilary Duff’s new album. Since this important interview, Hilary has shared quite a bit about the recording process, including song titles, lyrics, and behind-the-scenes photos.
From The Studio With Love: Hilary Involves Fans in the Recording Process
On September 23, 2013, Hilary shared her first snippet of her new album. On Instagram she announced, “Some recording happening tomorrow,” along with a close up shot of some lyrics:
Just the next day, on September 24th, Hilary shared a photo of her first day of recording. According to the caption, the song was called “Better Days,” and was done with Billy Mann.
On October 13th, she shared some more “studio fun” –
On October 19th she showed a picture of her recording “last night” from the previous day:
October 23rd Hilary Duff was in the studio with Ian Kirkpatrick and Lindy Robbins. Below is Ian’s photo of Hilary and Lindy:
On November 6th she revealed a new song title: “Outlaw”
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) November 7, 2013
Only one day later, another song title surfaced. In a paparazzi photo of Hilary outside of the recording studio, the paper in her hand clearly shows the title. Could this be a new song for her album?
She said that it’s “Nice to stare at a beautiful tree while working” on November 8th. The photo also revealed some lyrics for the song that she was recording:
On December 4th, Hilary sat down for an interview in Toronto, Ontario. She talked about her new music, revealing that the first 6 songs she recorded were dancier, upbeat, and uplifting. At the point, she was just starting to get into “moodier stuff.” Her album thus far had an indie dance sound, and Hilary announced that she hoped to have a single out by late spring 2014, and an album by fall 2014. You can see the interview below; they begin discussing Hilary’s new music at 2:52.
The same day, Toronto Sun reported that Hilary had already recorded 7 or 8 songs. She also discussed the sound of her forthcoming record:
There’s some EDM influence. And then some songs kind of like indie and earthy. I don’t know, that sounds really weird. It’s all over the map. Some songs have really heavy piano. Some have like funky weird tinkering sounds.
Less than a week later, on December 9th, Hilary recorded her previously written song, “Outlaw.” She described it as having a “contagious bounce.”
It's meeee and @iek having fun recording "outlaw" tooooday this one has a contagious "bounce" I'm excited 🙂
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) December 9, 2013
On December 15th, Hilary continued work in the studio, this time with Mitchy Collins and Christian Medice in New York City.
Hilary’s manager Andre also shared a shot from the studio:
— Boo Man (@boomansworld) December 15, 2013
After a busy day in the studio, Hilary shared the title of her new song she worked on that day: “Hurts.”
Love all your tweets about my new music guys! Cool song almost finished today called "breathing room"
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) December 16, 2013
The next day, on December 16th, Hilary’s work with Mitchy and Christian continued. Hilary wrote, “Day#2 song#2 w/ @mitchycollins @christianmedice you boys look so happy to be standing next to me.”
That ended Hilary’s recording for 2013. She took off a few weeks for the holidays before resuming work in January 2014.
On January 7th, Hilary shared a new studio picture along with the caption, “Was a late one last night at the studio w/ @tearcekizzo and @fransiscahall songs called “hurts.””
On January 21st, Hilary wrote on Instagram, “Budy busy day, recorded a song.. took luc to school, din, bath time, lil catch up with m’lady friend @mrslisao now back in the studio to write doinnnn itty”. She also tweeted:
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) January 22, 2014
Only 2 days later on January 23rd, Hilary posted the following picture, saying “#tbt alll the way back to last night in the studio with @christianmedice & @mitchycollins a cinnamon treat after finishing a damn good song “take it for what it is.””
Hilary attended the Delta Airline Grammy Party on January 23rd, and was interviewed about her upcoming album. She revealed that she was about halfway through the recording process. She also described the sound of the album as being lyrically driven and having an indie pop vibe.
At the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala event on January 24th, Hilary talked about her album further. She said it was “straightforward pop” but that it has a bit of an EDM influence, in addition to its earthy indie vibe.
Hilary remained quiet for much of next couple of months. Her TV series, Younger, was announced, but she still found time to record music when she wasn’t filming the show’s pilot episode.
Last minute recording sesh ….. Feels pretty good. ❤️
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) February 11, 2014
Oy miso tiredddd. Need my bed. Awesome studio time tonight …… ❤️
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) February 25, 2014
Shooting promo for #younger today…. Then back to the studio!
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) February 25, 2014
On February 26th:
On March 15th: “This is Milly. We are studio friends.”
She was also writing on March 18th: “Got my lucky crystal…Hoping for a good song today.”
On March 25th, Hilary shared “Discovering vocal zone throat pastilles has changed the game for recording with a sore throat.” The photo clearly shows song lyrics, with the repeated theme of a Northern Star. She later confirmed in a Twitter reply that the song is indeed titled “Northern Star.”
Hilary Gets Signed to a Record Label
After months of recording, Hilary Duff finally signed to a record label at the end of March 2014. She excitedly shared a picture on Instagram on March 28th:
She did not reveal what record label she has signed with or any other details about the deal.
Hilary continued to work on her new album, sharing another song title only 3 days later:
That same day, a new song was registered on ASCAP. “Snow Globe” was written by Hilary Duff, along with Mitchy Collins, Billy Mann, Christian Medice, and Phoebe Ryan.
April marked the 7 year anniversary of Hilary’s previous studio album, Dignity. Hilary commented on the special day, and revealed that her new album can be consider “phase 2” of that prior release.
can't believe this is the 7th anni of my album Dignity.Thanks for the way you all embraced and supported this record!here comes phase 2!!
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) April 3, 2014
On April 21st, Hilary wrote another song: “Good night sunset strip….thanks for helping us write a song tonight.”
Hilary shared a picture on April 25th of what appears to be a photo session. It is speculated that this may be for her upcoming album or first single, though there is no confirmation of this.
That same day Hilary was back in the studio, working hard to finish not one, but two new songs: “Knocked out two songs tonight kids! Annnd managed to drink some wine @sallyseltmann @briyunlee14”
Hilary Duff attended the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1st, and shared some more details – and a collaboration – on her upcoming album. She describes the album as having an earthy, indie pop vibe, and revealed that she was set to record a song written by Ed Sheeran. She also worked with Savan Kotecha. She said that the album is still set for a fall release, with a single arriving “soon.” Of the whole album process, she said,
It feels good to be in the studio. It feels good to be talking about my last few years — the high points and the low points. I really just want to be honest and be an open book for my fans to know where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing, how I feel and all that good stuff.
You can see the interview below.
There is still much to be announced – the record label, release dates, album title, the track list – and the news only just around the corner.
Wrapping Up Studio Work: More Song Titles, Lyrics, & Teaser Previews
On May 12th, another song was registered on ASCAP. It is called “This Heart,” and was written by Hilary Duff, Toby Gad, and Lindy Robbins.
A couple days later, on May 14th, Hilary was in the studio with Ed Sheeran recording the new song he wrote for her.
In an interview with MTV at Wango Tango, Ed Sheeran described the style of the new song as “acoustic,” much like his own music.
The Hilary Duff song, it’s a really good song. It’s like my sound, I guess. But that isn’t really my sound. Anyone who uses an acoustic guitar is that. That’s not my sound. It’s everyone’s sound.
Chris Leonard and Jake Gosling were also involved in the track. Both of them shared another picture of all four of them:
The very next morning, Hilary was back at work again. She posted a new picture on Instagram of her with producer Jerrod Bettis and producer/songwriter Sean Douglas. They are writing a new song which may appear on her record.
On May 19th, another new song title appeared on ASCAP. “Wild Night Out” was also written by Hilary, Toby, and Lindy, and also lists Hilary as a performer – this indicates that the song has been recorded.
On May 27th, Hilary posted a short note on Instagram that could be lyrics. She has not confirmed this, but fans speculate the lines may come from a new song she wrote.
On June 3rd, Hilary shared a picture of her in the studio with Toby Gad and Lauren Christy. Lauren was part of The Matrix, the writing team that helped Hilary on her first album Metamorphosis, as well as Avril Lavigne’s debut Let Go. Hilary’s single “So Yesterday” was cowritten by Lauren. Hilary wrote ““This pretty lady @1laurenchristy wrote my first hit “so yesterday” and I becoming a staple over@tobygadmusic studio #werkin” along with the picture below:
At the end of the day, Hilary also tweeted this:
Two sessions in one day. Finally in bed. So tired don't know if I can sleep
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) June 4, 2014
On June 5th, Hilary shared a picture of herself writing a song:
On June 9th, another new song title was registered on ASCAP. This one is called “It All Starts Tonight,” and was written by Hilary, Toby Gad, and Wayne Hector.
The same day, we got news that Hilary’s vocals were being mixed, signaling the nearing completion of her new album. Nick Radovanovic and producer Jerrod Bettis were working on a new song that will likely appear on Hilary’s new album:
Nick assures fans that the song sounds great!
Nick also clued fans in on how the song sounds: When asked if a video that Jerrod Bettis posted in May is the new Hilary Duff song he is working on, he confirmed that it is:
You can hear some of the song in the video below – the Instagram video has now been deleted, but the content is available via YouTube.
The original Instagram video had this caption: “Work at home has benefits Grab ur phone and show ur tits”
First Single Info: Is It Ed Sheeran’s Song?
We already know that Hilary recorded a song composed by Ed Sheeran. But in mid June, Ed Sheeran revealed a lot of new information about Hilary’s next album in an interview with Digital Spy.
First of all, Ed claims that the song he wrote for Hilary will be released as the lead single, and should be out later this year. Ed talked a little bit about recording the track:
Poor Hilary though, because the only time I was free I did The Voice, then had a meeting, then I had another TV show until 1 o’clock in the morning – and I know she has a kid – but I had to drag her down to the studio at that time to get the song done. She came and smashed it out in about two hours.
Ed also described the sound of Hilary’s new album as “adult alternative acoustic.” As he toldDigital Spy,
I think it’ll be cool. She’s been gone for so long living family life that I think there are a lot of fans waiting for something new.
I feel like her record is not what they will expect. Obviously she comes from Lizzie McGuire and that pop world, but she’s more grown up now, so it’s more of an adult alternative acoustic sound.
It sounds like Hilary’s new record will be pretty different from what she’s done in the past. Going in a more mature, indie alternative direction could be a great stylistic choice for Hilary.
Ed later admitted that the he hadn’t heard any of Hilary’s other songs, and was only talking about the one he wrote. Still, having at least one adult alternative acoustic song will be a great inclusion for Hilary’s album.
Song Preview & Album Photo Shoot
On June 26th, Hilary shared a preview of one of her new songs! Behind the funky strumming guitar riff, you can hear Hilary’s vocals.
She hasn’t revealed what the song is called, but it is likely co-written and produced by Toby Gad. He was with her that same day, and Toby shared a behind-the-scenes studio sneak peek:
Earlier in the day, Hilary shared another Instagram picture of her in the studio recording vocals:
On July 1st, Hilary started the first day of her album photo shoot! Hilary Duff teamed up with Harper Smith Photography to shoot photos for her new album. This is usually one of the last steps taken before records are released.
Hilary shared this picture from the photo shoot on July 1st: “There was a pig onset today belonging to@harpersmithphoto meet pepper! (She’s kind if a beeotch)”
Harper Smith Photography also shared a behind-the-scenes shot from the photo shoot on July 2nd. This Instagram post confirmed that the photos are intended for Hilary’s new album. (Note: That is not Hilary Duff pictured.)
Perhaps most exciting is this exclusive shot that Hilary shared of herself from the new photos:
Filming The “Chasing The Sun” Music Video
We’re getting really close to hearing her new single now! Hilary Duff just shot the music video for her comeback single July 10th and 11th in Malibu. The video takes place on a beach and features Hilary, in a black bathing suit, along with what appears to be a love interest.
Hilary and some of her collaborators shared some pictures on Instagram to whet fans’ appetites:
On July 10th, Hilary shared these photos from the video shoot –
On July 11th, she shared a gorgeous, exclusive shot from the set of her new video:
Based on some good fan research, it is speculated the the music video director is Declan Whitebloom. Hilary just started following him on Instagram, making it very likely that he’s directing her new music video. He has worked with artists such as Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato in the past.
Hilary is as excited about her new video as her fans are. In response to a fan site tweet, she simply responded with a heart:
Based on the usual timeframe between an artist filming a video and it being released to the public, Hilary’s lead single and music video should be out around 3 to 4 weeks from now. More time than that is rarely needed, although it is possible depending on effects added to the video in pos-production.
In other words, fans should be hearing Hilary’s new single very soon! Probably around the end of July to early August we will all be playing her new song on repeat, and not much after the video should be out for all of our viewing pleasure.
As we wait these final few weeks, check out some behind-the-scenes candids of Hilary filming her new music video:
Announcing the New Single: Chasing The Sun!
On July 18th, Hilary’s new single was announced in a sneaky, unusual way: A nightclub in New York City called the Marquee suddenly revealed that they would be premiering Hilary’s single at a re-opening even on Thursday, July 24th.
— Voss Events (@vossevents) July 18, 2014
— Voss Events (@vossevents) July 18, 2014
Shortly after this, music insiders started leaking some other information. One Twitter user in particular seemed to know a lot: He said the new single was called “Chasing The Sun.”
According to @jeff1317, Hilary's new single, Chasing The Sun, is a mid tempo song and pretty laid back.
— Hilary Duff News (@HilaryNews) July 18, 2014
@HilaryNews in other words: Hilary 100% has a song "Chasing the Sun" – its good! – and I'd be surprised if it's not the single at this point
— Jeff (@jeff1317) July 18, 2014
Fans were excited, but the news was still unconfirmed.
In the meantime, some more songs were registered on ASCAP: “Feel Alive,” “If I Fall,” and “17.”
(As it turns out, fans have already hear a clip of this one! It’s the song snippet that Hilary had posted on June 26th!)
On July 23d, everything about Hilary’s new single was confirmed! It’s called “Chasing The Sun,” it was being released on iTunes on July 29th via RCA Records – same day as the new music video! – and we could see the single cover art.
In a press release, Hilary spoke about her new music:
I couldn’t be more excited to join the RCA family! I love my team there and feel so lucky to be in the company of their talented artists. I came to them with my vision for the album and it has been a real labor of love, but something I am so proud of. “Chasing The Sun” is just a peek into my new album. I’ve worked very hard and the album is a great representation of the experiences I’ve had in my life and where I want to go from here!
I took a break from music for quite awhile, but it gave me the power to choose my next steps carefully and I’m really proud of the album I’ve made. “Chasing The Sun” is a light and fun summer song that I hope helps people to feel a little more carefree.
She and RCA also tweeted:
Still laying in bed reading your tweets. Bout 2get up for a busy day Feeling loved and blessed want to make you babes proud #chasingthesun
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) July 23, 2014
— RCA Records (@RCARecords) July 23, 2014
RCA’s Chairman and CEO Peter Ridge said:
We are thrilled to welcome Hilary Duff to the RCA Records family. She is a supremely talented young woman, who after achieving massive success at a young age, continues to be an extraordinarily creative, relevant and cutting edge performer with a enduring appeal.
Tom Corson, the President and COO, added, “Hilary Duff is a global superstar, a talented singer, actress and performer and we are thrilled to welcome her to RCA Records.”
That day, Hilary shared a preview of “Chasing The Sun” on Instagram:
“Chasing The Sun” Remix Premieres at the Marquee
On July 24th, the Marquee celebrated their re-opening and premiered a remix of “Chasing The Sun.” You can hear some of it here:
Before they played the remix of “Chasing The Sun,” Hilary also spoke a bit about her new album and plans for a tour. You can head over to the Marquee’s tumblr to see a video of her quick interview.
First In-Depth Interview About New Music
On July 24th, Hilary Duff called up Pop Justice for an exclusive interview about her new music – she went in depth describing her new music, plans to leak her leftover songs, and why she took a 7-year break from the pop world. It was posted online on Friday the 25th.
Hilary had a hard time decided what would be the first single from her new record. She mentioned that “it was a close tie between ‘All About You’, ‘Chasing The Sun’ and ‘Tattoo’ probably.” (Those are new song titles! We can expect to hear “All About You” and “Tattoo” on Hilary’s new album! “Tattoo” was written by Ed Sheeran.) She went on to describe “Chasing The Sun”:
It’s a really carefree, summer song and I guess I didn’t really know what people were expecting from me. This song is definitely a top-down, carefree, super catchy singalong song and so I guess we thought that would be a good move.
She also talked about writing songs vs. recording songs written by others. While she co-wrote 13 of the 14 tracks on her last album, 2007’s Dignity – in contrast with her first two albums in which she had very little creative input – this time she was more open to accepting songs from other songwriters. She did a little bit of both:
I’m not a snob, like ‘I have to write everything’. There are so many amazing writers out there and one of the best things about this record for me was that I did get to write as much as I wanted and work with other people as much as I wanted. Some of the best work comes from when you’re collaborating with people and then sometimes a song comes along and you hear it and you’re like ‘okay, I think that’s a smash, don’t give it away!’.There has to be a balance. Some of the biggest pop acts out there love to write, but a lot of their singles aren’t things they’ve written.
When Hilary started working on her new album last September, she started with an EDM sound. But that’s “all gone” now:
Even though that’s where I started. A few songs I came up with were really cool and you kind of get heartbroken when you realise no one’s ever going to hear them and they’re going to be trashed.
She continues to describe her vision for her record:
When I first started recording, the album was a lot heavier. It was a lot more serious. I started to steer away from that because as part of my personality, I do like to have fun and I do like to live as carefree and big as possible and do things that make me happy and be a positive person. So the album took on those kinds of legs and I got inspired by some of the folkier-type music (!). I love Mumford & Sons and I love The Lumineers. It’s definitely a straightforward pop album but with a bit of that influence in there. When I came to the label I just kept saying ‘I want it to feel a little earthy and authentic’ because I’m from Texas, and they were like ‘earthy? What does that mean?’. But that’s the best way I can describe it. It’s definitely pop – I wanted to have those melodies that get stuck in your head – but also have some foot-stomping and claps that bring me back to my roots.
It’s been great to see how Hilary’s vision for her album has changed over the last year. It’s unfortunate most of the earlier songs probably won’t make the record, but luckily for fans Hilary is open to leaking them!
After the album’s at the end of its cycle that would be cool to let the fans see a different side, but it wasn’t the push that I wanted to have out there.
While those heavier and more EDM tracks may not be heard for a while, it’s good to know that Hilary is proud of her new record.
Well to date this is definitely my favourite album but who’s to say what’s a classic? Hopefully my fans will think that it is and I think that it is. The thing that has always drawn my fans to me is that I am authentic and I am reachable to them and I am honest. I’ve done everything I can to accomplish that on this record and it’s taken me a long time – I started in September and I’m here now.
Hilary also talked about how she’s an “all or nothing kind of girl – I need my plate to be either completely empty or completely full.” Right now she’s in “completely full” mode, based on her busy schedule. (Not only does she have a new album coming out, but she’s also returning to TV for the first time in a decade too – Younger will be shooting from September to December, and will be on TV starting in January.) However, as she says, “I’ve been in hibernation for seven years so I’ve got a lot of energy!” She did speak at length about why she decided to take a break at the height of her career:
I’d taken such a long break. It wasn’t like I was totally gone – I was doing a little bit of acting here and there, and if you’re living in LA it’s kind of hard to hide so my life was definitely still on display. It’s not like people haven’t seen me in seven years, I just wasn’t interested in doing music. I had a lot of time to grow and become the person I want to be and not be exhausted with work and on tour. I got to remodel a house, which was amazing, and I met my husband. I got married, I had a baby, I travelled all over the world. A lot of it was really hard. I shut down a business [Lizzy McGuire] that was making a tonne of money and everyone thought I was crazy at the time, you know. That was a tough challenge for me at a young age to decide to do that and be like ‘I need a break and I need to hang on to my sanity’. That was a really scary thing to do. I learned a lot about my strength and fighting for what I needed and there’s some of that on the record. Obviously I’ve had a little bit of heartbreak and troubles in my relationships, so there’s some of that on there too, plus, even though I’m a mum, I like to let loose and get a little wild sometimes.
I guess everyone’s different but for me, I had toured for five or six years pretty much in a row and then when I wasn’t touring I was squeezing in filming a movie and I just got to a point… Well, I love my fans and I’ve loved all the travelling and being on stage, there is no bigger reward to have that feeling of people who don’t even speak the same language as you screaming the words of your songs back to you, it’s so ridiculously rewarding. But it is isolating and it was lonely and once I had turned twenty I was like, ‘I’m going to go crazy’. I needed to learn what I liked and who I was and make normal people decisions, not these epic and crazy [ones]. There was a lot of pressure. I was also struggling in my acting career and trying to get people to see me in a different way. There are lots of routes you can take to try and convince people you’re not the same as you were and I think my choice was to take a step back from everything and then just deal with the consequences of that fact that I might never get it all back again. But I’m going to try damn hard!
That was the bulk of the interview, particularly in regards to Hilary’s new album, coming out this fall. You can head over to Pop Justice to read the rest – there are some interesting tidbits about how Hilary didn’t want to record “So Yesterday” for her first album Metamorphosis, how she was a big fan of Avril Lavigne, and how Hilary actually does like Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap.”
The same day, RCA also had a fun campaign for “Chasing The Sun” – they had planes flying over key cities in the US, all with a banner announcing the new single coming July 29th. Hilary also posted another preview of her song:
The single leaked on Monday July 28th, but was officially out right on time at midnight on the 29th.
“Chasing The Sun” Available Online + Music Video Premiere
The single came out on July 29th, as scheduled, along with the music video. See it below:
So far, the single has gone into the Top 20 on iTunes; the video has over 19 million views. It’s great to see how successful Hilary’s music is, even after such a long hiatus!
More Interviews: Personal Songs on a Positive Album
In late July, Hilary Duff stopped by Billboard for a quick interview about her upcoming 4th album. She talked about why she took such a long break from the pop world, what got her back into music, and how the new songs turned out.
Although she recorded around 6-8 songs in the last months before her son Luca was born in early 2012, Hilary took another year off before restarting the recording process. Last September, Hilary was writing “heavier and a lot darker” stuff – largely inspired by her crumbling marriage. But once she got that out – and she and Mike separated in January this year – she started writing happier and more fun songs.
Hilary says the album is “positive and very up,” but that it also talks about more difficult topics. There are some party songs. There’s a song about her son Luca. There’s a song about her separation from and love for her husband Mike Comrie: As Hilary describes, “maybe we’re not meant to be together, or maybe we are – it’s very very personal.” Some songs are heavier and darker, but many of them are lighter and more representative of Hilary’s overall bubbly, positive personality. The songs on her new album are all personal, but she maintains her “happy spirit.”
“If I Fall” is about Hilary taking a step back and shutting down her whole business – as she did back in 2008 after 3 hugely successful albums. It’s about “Everyone not believing in me, and me being really scared to be alone after I’d been surrounded by 100 people for 5 years of my life.”
Hilary also talks about a song called “Tattoo,” which was written by Ed Sheeran. Hilary was already a big fan of Ed’s work, and when her A&R manager got the track from Ed Sheeran, Hilary was excited. She says it’s a “perfect pop song,” but that “everyone can relate to it. It definitely reminds me of a relationship in my life when I was a little younger that really hurt.” Based on their schedules, they ended up recording the song at 1:00 am. Ed wanted to be there, and he went into the recording booth with Hilary – which is not the norm when recording songs – usually the singer is in their by herself. Hilary was surprised and confused, but Ed sat down and told Hilary “we’re gonna record like this, and I’d like to do it line by line, we’re gonna do it about 6 times.” Hilary was nervous to be singing there with Ed, but she did her best. She says it was great to have him be “so involved,” and he ended up recording the backing vocals for “Tattoo.”
You can listen to the whole interview at Billboard. Hilary comes in about 22 minutes into the podcast.
3 More Songs on ASCAP
At the beginning of August 2014, another 3 song were registered on ASCAP. All three were written by Hilary Duff, Toby Gad, and Wayne Hector – they worked together earlier in 2014 and already have a few songs registered on ASCAP. The trio also wrote “It All Starts Tonight” and a song called “If I Fall,”which Hilary talked about in a recent interview.
The new songs written by the trio are called “Falling,” “When We Were Young,” and “Whistling Dixie.” Check them out below:
With these 3 new titles, we now have more than 20 songs that could appear on Hilary’s new album! Some of the earlier songs, such as “Breathing Room” and “Outlaw,” may not make the track list – her earlier, heavy EDM songs have all been scrapped. Instead, she’s using her folky and indie songs that she wrote and recorded more recently.
More Studio Time – This Time with Kara DioGuardi
On August 5th, Hilary was back in the studio again. This time she had a special guest there: Kara DioGuardi! Kara has worked with Hilary a lot throughout her music career. She co-wrote most of Hilary’s last album, Dignity, as well as gems from her earlier albums, such as “Fly” and “Come Clean.” See a studio picture that Hilary shared on Instagram:
“All About You” – Another Single Already!
Only a couple weeks after “Chasing The Sun” was release, Hilary and her team were already planning her next single! The new song is “All About You.”
She had an interview on the Adam Bomb show today, and afterwards Adam posted some pictures – ending with the hashtag “All About You.” Check it out:
This may be the song Hilary tweeted about the day before:
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) August 7, 2014
Was “All About You” written by Savan Kotecha, Carl Falk, and Kristian Lundin? Hilary first mentioned the song in an interview with Pop Justice in July, saying that it was “a close tie between ‘All About You’, ‘Chasing The Sun’ and ‘Tattoo’” for the lead single.
Hilary Duff basically confirmed that the next single is indeed “All About You” – see the tweet:
This weekend is going to be All About You guys…!
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) August 8, 2014
“All About You” was set to premiere on Monday, August 11th:
That weekend, plenty more info about “All About You” was confirmed. Fans were able to unlock pieces of the cover artwork puzzle, and on Saturday, August 9th the full cover for “All About You” was revealed:
At the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, August 10th, you may have heard a preview of “All About You” – if you were watching at the right time! Right after Ariana Grande finished accepting her award, they played a 10 second clip of Hilary’s next single:
Finally, Hilary stopped by The Scotty K & Riley Morning Show for a quick interview. She talked about both of her singles and an upcoming music video.
One thing to make clear: “Chasing The Sun” was actually more of a warm-up single, and “All About You” is the proper radio single. As Hilary said, “I’ve been gone for 7 years, why not put out two songs in one month?” She elaborated more on “All About You”:
“All About You” is the radio single. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the record. It’s awesome. It’s about two people you can’t stay away from each other, and kind of are electric when they’re together. And it’s a good summer song. I love it.
It’s way more upbeat than “Chasing The Sun” was.
And what about a music video for her new single?
I’m shooting [a music video] next week. I’m still going through treatments. I have some ideas. It has a little bit of a country twang thing at the end, so I think like a line dance would be fun. I don’t know. I have all these different ideas of the video, but I’m not sure yet.
Hilary also assured that there will be more singles down the road as well.
I think that the following single will be the one I did with Ed Sheeran called “Tattoo.” He’s amazing, it was great.”
She has mentioned that both “Tattoo” and “All About You” were being considered for singles when they chose “Chasing The Sun.”
You can check out the full interview below. They start talking about music around the 3:22 mark:
Hilary also talked about “Chasing The Sun” and “All About You” while attending the Teen Choice Awards that weekend:
“All About You” Premieres!
On August 12th, “All About You” was made available on iTunes and was put up on YouTube. It’s an uptempo piece of pop perfection, combining a folky sound (think The Lumineers or Imagine Dragons) with big pop hooks a la Avril Lavigne.
You love it, right? Whereas “Chasing The Sun” was a mellow summer song courtesy of Colbie Caillat, “All About You” is upbeat, fun, and full of cheerful little heys. The folky strumming guitar and big drum sounds are complimented by Hilary’s high pop vocals. She sings of love between two people who “can’t stay away from each other, and kind of are electric when they’re together.” It’s a great love song that’s sure to stay on repeat for the foreseeable future.
“All About You” was written by Hilary Duff, Savan Kotecha, Kristian Lundin, and Carl Falk. It will act as the first proper single from Hilary’s upcoming album; as it turns out, “Chasing The Sun” was just a buzz single for fans to enjoy.
“All About You” – Lyric Video
On August 19th, the lyric video for “All About You” was released:
So for your new album, how would you say it’s different from the others, and is there a track that defines it?
The album is very different. My last record was seven years ago. I haven’t just frozen in time. Being a mother has given me a confidence I didn’t have before, so maybe that came across in the studio for sure. Being more, you know, ballsy with what I have to say. And not holding back.
There’s a song called “Belong” that I really love. It sounds cheesy when I talk about it, but it’s not cheesy at all, and it’s more about just like not waiting for anything. Just going for it and not holding back. Like I said, it sounds cheesy when I talk about it, but it’s not at all.
“All About You” Music Video
Hilary Duff finally released a music video for the infectious pop single “All About You” on September 25, 2014. As promised, the video features line dancing in between Hilary’s mission to find her new crush.
“All About You” is a perfect pop song, and the video matches its quality. Who doesn’t love a good love story? Bonus points for incorporating a vinyl record for this musical love interest. Hilary also look s great herself, and her line dancing is amazing. It’s a great way to play up the country undertones and strumming banjo in the song.
Update on the New Album
On November 25th, Buzzfeed published a new interview with Hilary Duff. They talked about everything from Lizzie McGuire to her favorite places to shop, but it was the music answers that caught our attention. When asked about when her new album and tour would happen, she said it wouldn’t be quite a soon as she’d hoped:
I think probably not as soon as I thought, but yeah! That’s the ultimate for me, wanting to be back onstage again. Working on the show, I work so much, and I’m based in LA, so it’s kind of just got me all out of sorts, but in a good way. So I’m just re-evaluating timelines and what’s realistic — proper rehearsal times, and actually finishing the record and what a tour would look like for me. I’m trying to figure that all out right now.
And when would the new album be out?
I think in a few months!
Another new song was registered on HFA. “Wherever We Go” was written by Hilary, Ali Tamposi, Mitch Allan, and Jason Evigan.
Back To The Studio: In Sweden With Tove Lo
After months of near silence about her music, Hilary evidently was not done working on it yet. In January 2015, she just flew all the way to Sweden to craft some more songs! And she happened to have a rising star and accomplished writer with her: Tove Lo was helping Hilary write some new songs!
Tove Lo has had a few hits of her own recently, but did you know she’s also behind Ellie Goulding’s latest smash single? That’s right: Tove Lo was one of the writers on “Love Me Like You Do.”
Wolf Cousins, referenced in the second Instagram photo, is a production team consisting of Tove Lo, Max Martin, Shellback, and a handful of other producers. That’s a great team for Hilary to be working with!
Interview With Time: Album Is Done!
On March 25th, Time published a telling interview with Hilary Duff. She stated that her new album will be out sooner than we think! When asked about the status of her new album, she had this exciting bit of news to share:
I’m almost finished recording. I’m going in for a session today that might be my last session. My record is pretty much done, and I’m just waiting. It’s tough. I put some music out last year, and right when I put my single out, we started filming the show. So it was a little bad timing because I really didn’t get a chance to properly promote my single after being out of the music game for seven years. But it was good. I feel like I got a little taste of it again and it got me excited. I’m definitely going to have a single soon. It’s just a balancing act of trying to have two careers that take up a lot of my time. And also being a mom — the most important one for me.
Notice that she promises a new single “soon”!
The musical sound has changed thanks to her Sweden sessions. Though it was shaping up to be a folk-pop album, the music has now taken a turn for more dance and electro-pop:
The album has taken on a lot of different lives, which I guess is to be expected when you’ve taken such big break. It is a little bit of electro-pop, a lot of it is just straight-forward pop and some of it has gotten pretty dance-y, which is cool. Some songs still have a little bit of a folky side.
No need to worry though – folky pop gem “All About You” will still be on the record:
Thank you! Yeah, I really wanted that to be my first single just because I wrote it and it was a really personal song. It’ll still be on the record, but I’m excited for what’s to come to. I went to Sweden last month and knocked out about four songs and really created a cool vibe for the record.
It’s great to finally have an update on the new music. Hilary’s upcoming album – the followup to 2007’s Dignity – has been long in the making. Patient fans have waited nearly a decade, but it looks like new music is finally coming our way.
You can read the full interview over at Time.
Hilary ended March 25th with some more news: A sneaky teaser promising new music the next day:
The next day, we get a clip of her new single. “Sparks” sounded like exactly the pop gem that fans have been hoping for. It’s only a one minute snippet, but we already loved this new direction! “Sparks” was co-written by new hit-maker Tove Lo, and produced by Bloodshy and Peter Thomas, and it will be the new single from Hilary’s upcoming comeback album.
While the first two singles – 2014’s “Chasing The Sun” and “All About You” – had a laid-back, folk-pop sound, “Sparks” goes more in the direction of Hilary’s last studio album, Dignity. Released in April 2007, Dignity had a slick dance-pop sound that was just ahead of its time. “Sparks” is a welcome return to that style, but with a modern update. And there’s more where that came from: Hilary told Time that her new record features plenty of electro-pop and dance-influenced pop, in addition to a few of her folky songs from last year.
The preview of “Sparks” in the video below doubles as an advertisement for Hilary’s new TV show, Younger. The comedy drama series was set to officially premiere on March 31st, and stars Hilary as Kelsey, a smart but wild young woman working in a publishing firm. Younger has already gotten great reviews from early viewers.
On April 7th, “Sparks” was officially released to iTunes around the world. It harkens back to Hilary’s Dignity days, and is a great new single to hype up her forthcoming album.
More Songs Confirmed
In April 2015, Hilary mentioned a track on her album called “This Heart.” The song had been registered on ASCAP in May 2014, and a full year later Hilary revealed that the song is about her son Luca. “This Heart” will be on her new album, slated for a summer release.
Hilary also had an interview with Mario Lopez on April 8th. She spoke about the album and revealed a new song title: “One In A Million” was co-written by Tove Lo during their Sweden sessions in early 2015.
A third Tove Lo co-write is a song called “Stay In Love.” She wrote it with producer Michael Angelo; Michael shared a clip of Hilary singing “Stay In Love” on Instagram:
Album Up For Pre-Order & Set For June Release!
On May 5th, Hilary announced that her album was available for pre-order and would be coming out soon. Fans that pre-ordered the album in time would get their names printed in the booklet of the special fan edition of her album.
Guys! I’m really excited about my new album & want you to be a part of it. Pre-order to get your name in the booklet! http://t.co/IsbqoKjRqC
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) May 5, 2015
Hilary has since confirmed that the album will be out sooner than we may have thought – June! She promised more details – like confirmed album title, cover art, and track list – in the following weeks.
You can pre-order Hilary’s new album on MyPlay now.
Announcing Breathe In. Breathe Out.
On May 14th, Hilary Duff announced her new album title, confirmed the release date, and revealed the cover art! Breathe In. Breathe Out. will be released on June 16th! While the full track listing has not yet been confirmed, we do know that at least “All About You,” “Sparks,” and “This Heart” will appear on the album.
Tinder-Filled “Sparks” Music Video
The same day that Hilary announced her album title, she also dropped the music video for her latest single, “Sparks.” Most of the scenes are full of bright, sugary colors as Hilary and same dancers sway to the music. These polished, fun scenes are interspersed with lots of recent interviews and real footage of Hilary on Tinder dates. Unfortunately, the video ended up being rather distracting from the actual song. Much of the song was cut out as interviews and footage audio took center stage. The video was awkward, but the colorful scenes helped make up for it.
Younger Episode Contains Snippet of New Song
On May 19th, a new episode of Younger aired, and this one was extra special: It included a 30 second snippet of a new Hilary Duff song!
We don’t know what the title of the song is, but we should find out soon. It is possible that it will be on Hilary’s new album, Breathe In. Breathe Out.
Ask And You Shall Receive: Hilary Releases “Fan Demanded,” Tinder-less Version of “Sparks” Video
On May 28th, Hilary gave fans exactly what they asked for: A better, Tinder-less version of her “Sparks” music video! The new video contained no interviews, no Tinder footage, and nothing to distract from the song. Instead, it was pure colorful fun and vibrance. The new video included only scenes that were filmed in the studio, with Hilary dancing along with her entourage to peppy music. It was a huge improvement upon the original version.
The Surprising Breathe In. Breathe Out. Track List is Revealed
May 28 was full of excitement: In addition to the new and improved “Sparks” music video, fans also finally got the full, confirmed track listing for Breathe In. Breathe Out.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. contains the following 12 songs:
- My Kind
- One In A Million
- Breathe In. Breathe Out.
- Arms Around A Memory
- Stay In Love
- Brave Heart
- Picture This
- Night Like This (featuring Kendall Schmidt)
June 1 Update: The Australian and German versions of Breathe In. Breathe Out. contain the following two bonus tracks:
14. Rebel Hearts
A few of those song titles we already knew about. “Tattoo” was written by Ed Sheeran, and Hilary was excited to record it with him last year. “Night Like This” is another song that Hilary was working on in spring 2014; at the time she was trying to find a good male duet partner. “Brave Heart” was recorded last summer and was registered on Harry Fox Agency in October. “One In A Million” and “Stay In Love” are two songs Hilary recorded in Sweden. She was working with Tove Lo and Michael Angelo; this is also when she recorded lead single “Sparks.” The bonus tracks on the Australian edition include “Belong” and “Rebel Hearts.” Hilary described the former in a Huffington Post interview last fall; the latter was registered on HFA in December 2014. The rest of the song titles are new.
The first 12 confirmed songs are just from the standard edition of Breathe In. Breathe Out. There will be a deluxe edition with 2 bonus tracks, a Fan version from MyPlay with bonus tracks, and a Fanjoy version with 4 bonus tracks. (There may also be other bonus tracks with other versions of the album from iTunes, Target, or Best Buy; these retailers have not yet announced if they release special editions of Breathe In. Breathe Out.) It is likely that the two Australian tracks, “Belong” and “Rebel Hearts,” will appear as bonus tracks. Stay tuned for confirmation as to what the bonus tracks are.
Two surprising exclusions are last year’s singles “Chasing The Sun” and “All About You.” Apparently the change in style left these two singles a little out of place on the new album. Hilary switched gears from a folk-pop sound (heard on “Chasing The Sun” and “All About You”) to one more dance-pop and reminiscent of 2007’s Dignity.
Hilary recorded many songs over the last two years, and surprisingly, most of the titles we knew about ended up not making the record. You can go to the list of known song titles to see the over two dozen leftover songs; perhaps some of these will be bonus tracks? We still hope to hear “Outlaw,” “Belong,” and “Northern Star” some day!
Some Breathe In. Breathe Out. Details
On June 2nd, Hilary did a Twitter Q&S with her fans. She described some of her new songs, and also talked about a song that won’t make the album. Here are some of the music-related highlights:
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) June 3, 2015
What’s Hilary’s favorite song on the new album? “One In A Million” is a song she worked on with Tove Lo in Sweden earlier this year. Tove Lo also had a hand in writing Hilary’s new single, “Sparks.” “Brave Heart” is a song that Hilary did last summer; it was registered in the fall, but we do have a snippet of the song posted by Jerrod Bettis:
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) June 3, 2015
In episode 9 of Hilary’s new TV series, Younger, one of her new songs can be heard. Fans have been buzzing about what it could be. Now we know it’s “Outlaw,” a song Hilary worked on early in the recording process. She did the song in fall 2013.
— Hilary Duff (@HilaryDuff) June 3, 2015
Hilary’s Younger character, Kelsey, is a little bit wild. According to Hilary, “My Kind” and “Night Like This” (which features Kendall Schmidt) would fit Kelsey pretty well. These sound like fun songs!
Song Snippets & A Release For “Outlaw”
In the days leading up to the album’s release, Hilary released brief snippets of some of the songs on Breathe In. Breathe Out, including Clips of “One In A Million,” “Confetti,” and “My Kind.” On June 9th, Hilary also confirmed that “Outlaw” WOULD in fact be released! It was one of the bonus tracks in the Fanjoy box set.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. Is Released
Finally the big day arrived: On June 16th, Breathe In. Breathe Out. came out, claiming a top 5 position in the Billboard 200 album chart for its first week. It was Hilary’s first studio album in 8 years, but it was worth the long wait, patience, and dedication. Hilary showed that her writing and singing had both improved, and Breathe In. Breathe Out. can rival Dignity as Hilary’s best release to date. Songs like “Tattoo” show off Hilary’s impressive vocals, while songs like “Picture This” and “Night Like This” lend a quirkier vibe to Hilary’s catalog. “Lies,” “Breathe In. Breathe Out.,” “Outlaw,” and “Stay In Love” are among the album’s highlights, though every song is strong. Hilary’s overdue return to pop was better than we could have imagined, and hopefully it won’t be nearly so long before Hilary releases her next album.
Read our Breathe In. Breathe Out. review for more.