Hunter Hayes will release a new album in 2017, and he's already given fans a taste of what they can expect. The untitled album, Hayes says, was partially inspired by a past breakup and finds the him experimenting and growing as an artist.

"This record was very much about me leaving some things in the past," he tells Taste of Country. "Every record should be that, every record should be new, not a recreation of what you've done before."

Part of the album creation process has been Hayes letting go of stress that's weighed him down in the past. "I also just felt like for me creatively, my creative process has been hindered by things that I had kind of put my own weight on my own shoulders and I was the only one who could let go of that," he explains. "So that was very much kind of where that came from for me."

In late 2016, Hayes released three new tracks: "Yesterday’s Song," "Amen" and "Young Blood." Though he's happily in love with current girlfriend Libby Barnes, the country star admits that "Yesterday's Song" was inspired by a previous breakup and acts as a way to process the feelings that linger after a separation.

"It's kind of masked as a breakup song because I definitely have been through that and was feeling that a little bit still left over at the time," he admits. "So you channel both of those things into the song and I was hoping to give people kind of the right to feel like they could move on through the song."

The feisty track is a good indication of what's to come on the full album. "I think that's the spirit of the record. It's saying goodbye to some stuff," Hayes says.

"Amen," one of Hayes' "favorites of the moment" acts as somewhat of a sequel to "Yesterday's Song," dealing with the aftermath of the breakup process and paying tribute to those who help you through it.

"I think 'Amen,' it sort of sums up what I've been through to make this record," he relays. "Sort of after 'Yesterday's Song' it's kind of the recovery process and about those people who help you through those chapters. We all have these memories." The song is like a thank you to the loves ones who support you in troubled times, with Hayes calling them "answered prayers."

"Our friends, our family, our loved ones help us through, they are answered prayers and that's what 'Amen' says," Hayes explains. "It's acknowledging that this person in my life means that there's a greater plan and I was meant to meet this person and this is a bit of a miracle and I guess. Just kind of being thankful for that is a big deal for me, so 'Amen' really speaks to my heart."

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