Life changes led to dramatic musical changes for Hunter Hayes, but it didn't happen overnight. The singer says his new single "Heartbreak" embodies all the things that are coming in full on his next studio album.

Speaking to Taste of Country during the Country Cares seminar at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis on Jan. 25, Hayes admitted that he scrapped more than 100 songs and wiped the board clean to begin a process of making music more true to who he is today, not five years ago.

"This (upcoming) album was a very transformative album for me in the life department which is what led me to 'Why shouldn’t it be the same in the music department?'" he says. With only a few minutes to talk about St. Jude and his music, he didn't dive into details, but indicated he's not afraid to go there at some point. Songs like "Heartbreak" and "Dear God" share his anxieties. Both songs describe love lost and the deep melancholy of heartbreak.

"Just an attitude of, I don't know if anyone is gonna list to this or if anyone's gonna care, but I need it," the 27-year-old says, summarizing how he was feeling while making new music.

"Heartbreak" came out last week. The uptempo, looking-for-life-long-love song stays true to Hayes' pop sensibilities, but reveals more about his personal life. He's long kept many of the details of his love life private, but confirms to People that his multi-year relationship with Libby Barnes has ended.

Changes in his love life and music aren't it for Hayes. He's also sporting a simpler haircut to start 2019. It's pretty much a buzzcut for the "Somebody's Heartbreak" hitmaker, and he sports it with confidence.

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