2:15 PM PDT 6/9/2014 by Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
"I think 12 songs is too much to listen to all at once," says Caillat, who will release the rest of her new album, "Gypsy Heart," later this year.
Colbie Caillat surprised fans today by releasing five new songs as a standalone EP, Gypsy Heart Side A, as a prelude to the official follow-up to her 2011 album All of You. The five new tracks, which include the empowering single "Try," will be rounded out by seven more tracks to form Gypsy Heart, to be released later this year on Republic Records.
"The reason I wanted to do the EP is because, right now, I think everyone's attention spans are very short," Caillat, who was just honored last week at the City of Hope's "Songs of Hope" fundraiser, tells Billboard. "I think 12 songs is too much to listen to all at once. When I buy a record, I get to the fifth song, and then I don't get to really hear the rest of the record. People can listen to the first five songs, fall in love with them, get to know them, and then a few months later have the rest of the record available for download."
Gypsy Heart Side A follows a two-year writing and recording process for the singer-songwriter, best known for the Top 20 hits "Bubbly" and "Fallin' for You." After her third studio album, All of You, sold 331,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan but failed to spawn a radio smash, Caillat released the holiday album Christmas in the Sand in 2012 and promised fans a new album by the fall of 2013.
"I wrote a full record last year, and then my label thought maybe we should keep working and see if we got anything better," she says. The response frustrated Caillat, who says she was told to return to the studio and find a "new sound" for her fourth LP. "To be told that your work isn't good enough -- to do better, to be more like those pop artists out there that dress sexy and use Auto-Tune on their voices -- to be compared to someone so different, it hurt," she says.
"Try," which was co-written by R&B legend Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, resulted from a "venting experience" for Caillat, who translated her disappointment about her scrapped album into a message of self-love aimed at women. "You don't have to try so hard," Caillat sings, in an effort to bestow young girls with a stronger sense of self-worth.
"It's exhausting being a woman," says Caillat. "This song is not to say that we should never wear makeup, but to say that sometimes, it's okay not to."
The lyric video for "Try" will feature female fans and celebrities including Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Sara Bareilles, Christina Perri, Hayden Panettiere appearing without makeup to help prove Caillat's point. "I have a couple celebrity friends that would be more impactful for everyday people to see what we look like normally," says Caillat, who will unveil the lyric video during an appearance on NBC's Today tomorrow morning.
In addition to Babyface, Caillat worked with producers like Max Martin, Johan Carlsson and Julian Bunetta on Gypsy Heart. An official music video for "Try" -- which is currently being offered as a free download on iTunes -- is in the works as well.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.