Lindsay Ell begins work on her second studio album next week, and it will be an album that covers recent heartbreak.

The "Criminal" singer and 2018 Taste of Country RISER tells Taste of Country she's set to record with producer Dann Huff, which is something of a dream come true. During her fan club party at CMA Fest, she debuted a new song called "Broken" that speaks to where she's headed.

"This next record is going to focus on what I've gone through in the last couple years. I've gone through a breakup, I've been single for a while, I've turned 30," she says. "I feel like I'm in a place where I finally know who I am and I'm not really scared about it anymore."

Watch Lindsay Ell Sing "Criminal"

Speaking to Taste of Country prior to the 2019 Taste of Country Music Festival, Ell admitted that "heartbreak is great for business." She and radio deejay Bobby Bones broke up in 2017.

"Heartbreak is essential for business as a songwriter," she says. "I've read interviews, like Ed Sheeran has ruined relationships just to write songs from, and I get it, because there is nothing that inspires you more than being completely heartbroken."

There's no timetable on the new music, and in all likelihood, a single won't come until after her duet with Brantley Gilbert peaks on country airplay charts. "What Happens In a Small Town" is a song from Gilbert's upcoming album — it's a sweet and salty kind of collaboration that just works. The Canadian is excited to have gotten to know him in recent months.

"I always say I'm ruining his rocker image, but he is the sweetest human being. He's so generous, he's so funny," Ell says. "He's like a teddy bear. He's become like a big brother to me."

Look for Ell at Bonnaroo this weekend in Tennessee, and then on tour with RaeLynn this summer.

The Story of Brantley Gilbert's "What Happens In a Small Town"

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