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Big MachineIt’s been more than two years since Carly Pearce topped the chart with her debut single, “Every Little Thing.” She’s since fallen in love with and married fellow artist Michael Ray — the two tied the knot last October — and her new music reflects that. 

On Friday — Valentine’s Day — Carly will put out her self-titled sophomore album. While Every Little Thing was laced with the pain and self-doubt of a failed relationship, Carly Pearce is a reflection of the romance and self-love she’s found. 

“I did a self-titled album because I feel like this collection of songs is me without searching,” she tells ABC Audio. “Country music fans have given me so much confidence in the last few years. And finding my husband has given me confidence.”

“My first record, I was searching and trying and hoping and wishing,” she continues. “And now I get to just settle into it, and that’s really fun.”

Carly’s confidence is in full bloom on the album cover: She wears a cheetah print dress and leans against a cowhide backdrop.

“There’s no secret that I love animal print,” she explains. “I feel like girls are now showing up to shows in animal print because of me.”

“I really want to be like what Faith Hill was to our genre back then,” Carly continues. “I love country music so much, and I wanted to do a little bit of that retro, cowhide, kind of throwback to the ’90s…but, like, a new spin on it.”

“And how much animal print can you get in one photo?” she laughs. “I got a lot in there.” 

Carly Pearce features duets with her husband Michael and Lee Brice.  Her song with Lee, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” is a top-fifteen hit.

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