With “one foot in traditional country,” Blake Shelton’s hoping to break new ground with ‘Body Language’

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Blake Shelton, who announced his 12th studio album, Body Language, just days after sharing that he’ll release a commemorative vinyl version of his debut single, “Austin,” to celebrate the song’s 20th anniversary.

In fact, at the upcoming ACM Awards this month, Blake will perform a mash-up of “Austin” and his newest single, “Minimum Wage.”

In a new interview in People, Blake shares that when he thinks back on the young up-and-comer who released “Austin,” he wishes he’d taken a little bit more time to sit back and relax.

“I would’ve told myself to get more rest back then. When I started I was 24 and lived life to the max back then,” the singer says. “It’s probably why I ran out of battery so soon.”

Now, however, the singer is fully charged — an improvement that he attributes to living life at a more laid-back pace. “These days I’m just kind of a slow slug,” Blake jokes.

Still, he continues to push himself to learn and grow with every release. The title track of Body Language was written by the Swon Brothers, he notes, a duo that he once mentored as coach on The Voice.

“It’s such a different sounding song,” the singer notes. “I’m to the point in my career where I always want to reinvent myself. I keep one foot in traditional country, but at the same time…find new sounds and new music.”

Body Language is due out May 21. Meanwhile, “Minimum Wage” is a top-30 hit and climbing.

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