“I had wanted to be in the studio sooner than I was, actually recording these songs [on latest album Cry Pretty], but I had stitches inside my mouth, outside my mouth. It was physically impossible,” the 35-year-old told Vulture in a new interview.
“I felt like the differences were more in my head than they were in anybody else’s that would listen to the things I was doing,” Underwood elaborated. “Going into the studio for the first time, it was a mind game: ‘Do I sound the same? Is my diction the same? Does my mouth move the same as it did before?’”
Certain consonants gave the American Idol alum pause, she explained: “I would sing something and then look at [producer David Garcia] and be like, ‘Did that all come out clearly?’ My m’s and b’s and p’s were kind of the issue. And he was like, ‘I thought it sounded great.’”
Underwood, who is currently pregnant with her second child with husband Mike Fisher, suffered the injury after falling at home in Nashville last November. The laceration required 40 stitches on the singer’s face, and she later showed off her scar on Instagram.
Despite any anxieties about her enunciation, though, the seven-time Grammy winner has come to peace with her evolving sound. “Things change just as you get older; your muscles change,” she told Vulture. “I kind of expect I’m not always going to sound like I’m 22 coming off of American Idol. Hopefully I get better.”
Underwood has been married to Fisher, 38, since 2010. The couple welcomed a son, Isaiah Michael, in February 2015.