Dierks Bentley will scale “The Mountain” in 2018

ABC/Image Group LA Dierks Bentley is turning into a Mountain man.

You may have noticed that lately, the Arizona’s been growing an impressive beard. It turns out that’s just one of the hints pointing toward Dierks’ new album. Since the beginning of the year, he’s also been sharing ambiguous videos of picturesque western landscapes.

Wednesday morning, he revealed it’s all been a precursor to his new album, The Mountain, coming later this year.

The inspiration for the record struck last June when Dierks played the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. He then returned to the Colorado ski town — with hit songwriters in tow — to work on the album. It was eventually recorded at a studio half an hour outside the former mining town.

“Telluride just makes you want to reach for your guitar,” Dierks explains. “We…got completely off the grid…out of our normal element and the grind that happens on Music Row and it was, from the very get-go, magic.”

As for the album process, he says, “We’d wake up every morning, grab a coffee, take the gondola up, watch the sun come up over the mountains, and by 8:30 we were writing.”

But as Dierks notes, The Mountain isn’t just about being in the actual mountains.

“It’s the mountain that we’re all faced with every day, and the struggle to put one foot in front of the other even when things are hard, that we all have in common,” he says. “Looking back now, I think we were all searching for hope and optimism when we were writing this music.”

Dierks will go live on all his socials Wednesday at noon CT to talk about his ninth album, which is due in early 2018.

In the meantime, you can preview The Mountain’s title track in a new YouTube video.

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