Gwen Stefani’s new album Let Me Reintroduce Myself has the former No Doubt star feeling nostalgic for another studio album of hers — 2016’s This Is What The Truth Feels Like, written in the tumultuous year that she both filed for divorce from husband Gavin Rossdale and began dating current fiancé Blake Shelton. In a new Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe, Stefani talks about the process of writing that album five years ago, which was originally slated for December 2014 but delayed due to Stefani’s ongoing issues with the material. She’s hinted in the past about the sudden burst of inspiration in late 2015 that brought this album to life, but she tells Lowe even more explicitly now that she was falling in love and that’s why she was able to write the songs she did. She details the “couple months” in which the album came together, and we looked back at the album release’s timing to see what that means for her relationship with Shelton. Spoiler alert: These two got serious even sooner than we expected.
Stefani met Shelton before 2015 from working together on The Voice, but when they first met, he was married to ex Miranda Lambert and she was married to Rossdale. Both marriages dissolved in quick succession as Shelton filed for divorce in July 2015 and Stefani followed suit in August 2015, and while suspicions of their closeness lingered, they weren’t publicly an item until many months later, first commenting on the relationship in November 2015.
This Is What The Truth Feels Like came out in March 2016, and here’s what she told Lowe about the process of writing it: “What was really I think really significant about that This Is What The Truth Feels Like record for me was the miracle in it, which was, you talked about having to write music when you have to write music, the button doesn’t always work if you press it. And when I was going through the worst part of my life, I was running to go write songs. I knew that’s what I had to do. I knew that that’s my purpose.”
“But then halfway through the project, to my surprise, I start falling in love and I start writing these songs about Blake,” she continued. “So the first half of writing it, and it was written over a very short amount of time, a couple months, I think the record is just a very interesting record because a lot, of the darker, darker songs didn’t make it onto the record.”
Anyone who’s listened to the love-happy bops from that album will know what Stefani’s talking about — and given the album’s March release, we’ve narrowed down the writing window to a clear few months. In October 2015, Stefani told Entertainment Weekly that she had scrapped all previously written songs for the album and started over, saying it “didn’t feel right,” and in February, she told TV host Ellen DeGeneres that she’d written “four or five” of the album’s songs in January.
All we can say is we’re so glad they’ve finally decided to tie the knot — because clearly, for Stefani, it’s been a long time coming.
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrity couples with the best stories behind how they met.