Here comes more love.
On Friday, country music star Eric Paslay dropped his romantic new song, "Heartbeat Higher," along with the music video for the track, to kick off what will be a summer full of new music from him.
"I'm a romantic guy," Paslay tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I love a love song. Everyone loves a great love song, right? I write them all the time, but don’t think that my previous singles have really shown this side of me. 'Let’s turn a sunset kiss into a midnight choir' is one of those lines that continues to intrigue me ... I expect the idea behind that line always will."
While some fans might recognize "Heartbeat Higher" as a song Paslay, 37, has incorporated into his live shows over the years, this marks its first official recording.
"It has stood the test of time," Paslay says. "I also think it reflects the energy that I feel about releasing a new project."
Rachel Deeb Eric Paslay
To get the final product, Paslay says it only took about one live take in the studio with the track's co-writer and featured singer, Sarah Buxton.
"Our approach to this record was really fresh," Paslay says. "Some listeners may not realize that most of the time, each song is recorded and sung countless times before an engineer mixes and mashes up all the takes to cherry-pick the 'best take' from each musician. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but we decided to go for broke. The band was on fire and Sarah and I were perfectly in sync, so what you see in the video and hear on the record is pretty much a live take. You can see that pretty clearly in Sarah’s reaction at the end of the music video. It’s great!"
In addition to seeing Paslay in the recording studio with Buxton, 39, the music video also captures him walking the streets of Stockholm during a stop there on his 2019 fall tour. Luckily, he says, they got most of the footage they needed before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak hit.
"We did have plans to grab some additional footage with Sarah in March right after the C2C (Country to Country) tour wrapped, but the back half of that tour got canceled to keep everyone safe and healthy so it only made sense to cancel filming as well," Paslay says. "I’m really happy with the video and grateful we captured it before COVID-19."
While in lockdown at their house in Nashville amid the global pandemic, Paslay says he and his wife, Natalie, 37, have been "constantly renovating and finding new projects."
"I’m not sure that this is groundbreaking news to anyone, but I cannot sit still," he says. "Neither can Natalie. Unfortunately our house got hit by the March tornado, but fortunately, it’s left us with no shortage of projects to work on. New hobbies include designing and building our new fencing. And intense bird-watching — no joke."
They're also getting in plenty of quality time with their 17-month-old daughter, Piper Lily.
"Piper is amazing," Paslay says. "I know I’m her dad and all parents think their kids are geniuses, but I really think she is! She knows well over 50 words and the sign language for a lot of those. She recently showed us that she can count to three. She says 'goodnight' and 'bye bye' and blows us kisses when she’s ready to go to bed. It’s pretty dang cute. She loves our nightly dance parties and has started requesting 'dance' to kick them off. Thanks to my wife, her favorite new song is 'Heartbeat Higher.'"
Courtesy Paslay Family Eric Paslay, his wife Natalie and their daughter Piper
Even though Paslay is stuck inside, that hasn't stopped him from bringing the romance for his and Natalie's fifth wedding anniversary late last month.
"I redecorated our bedroom so it looked like a restaurant we could have eaten in on our honeymoon in Italy," he says. "We had some of our favorite foods from Lockeland Table and reminisced and laughed about the first five years of the rest of our lives over some dirty vodka martinis."
"Like I said, I'm a romantic guy," he jokes.
Next, Paslay will drop his EP on July 3 and a full album on Aug. 14.