Colbie Caillat is taking a risk with her new single, "Hold On," which features a very different sound for her. She was a bit worried that fans wouldn't accept it at first, so she says she was "relieved" when the people who know her best gave the track a thumbs-up.
"I played it for my family and friends and I was scared they were gonna say, like, 'Where's Colbie?'" she tells ABC News Radio. "But people are totally cool with it, so I'm relieved."
Colbie's new song has been getting some love on Twitter from her musician friends as well, like Gavin DeGraw, Jason Mraz, Andy Grammer, Blake Shelton, and Kelly Clarkson, who tweeted, "I had no idea 'Hold On' was Colbie Caillat?! Love her new sound!" And Taylor Swift tweeted, "I've listened to 'Hold On' by @ColbieCaillat 45 times today. So on repeat. So important."
Helping Colbie to bring about this sonic change is a guy she felt completely comfortable with: Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote and produced her hit "Brighter than the Sun." Colbie tells ABC News Radio she was eager to write again with the OneRepublic frontman, but it was hard to get their schedules to match up. Finally, she says, she literally had to track him down on the road.
"It was August, and he was on tour, and so I had a couple days off and I flew out to Miami where he had a show," Colbie recalls. "He had a studio on his tour bus and I played him the songs I'd been recording and he was like, 'All right, well, let's just, let's go somewhere different with this.'" Colbie says he started playing around with his keyboard and an organ, and things came together quickly. "We wrote the song that day," she tells ABC News Radio. "It's a departure for sure but it's, I think, a needed departure and it's always good to grow as an artist."
Next up for Colbie is whittling down the 60 songs she's written for her new album, some of which she worked on with Babyface. "That's why were kind of delaying it," Colbie says of the disc. "''Cause I can't decide which are gonna make it. So, it's really exciting and I'm very impatient but it's gonna be worth the wait."
The strangest thing about Colbie's new single isn't the way it sounds: it's the fact that she has a new single at all. After all, last year, she told ABC News Radio that she was releasing her holiday album Christmas in the Sand to tide her fans over while she took a long break from making records. So what happened?
"I like writing with people so much!" Colbie laughs. "I know! I'm already kicking myself because I was getting bored and I was like, 'You know what? I wanna put another record out'...and now that my schedule's crazy I'm like, 'What did I just do?!"
"But it's worth it," she says. "It's not good to sit around too long."
Colbie won't be sitting around this Sunday. She'll be co-hosting the red carpet pre-show for ABC's American Music Awards with Jordin Sparks, Lance Bass and other stars.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio