Written solo by Church, “Heart on Fire” is more FM classic rock than Nashville country, with hints of Lonesome Jubilee-era John Mellencamp. “I’m soaking my soul in gas and setting my heart on fire,” Church sings, as propulsive tinkling piano and Joanna Cotten, Church’s longtime backing vocalist, add a loose bar-band vibe. Of all the songs Church has released so far from the Heart & Soul project, “Heart on Fire” is the most radio-ready: a fully-formed composition that bobs and weaves to a satisfying finish.
Church wrote and recorded the albums during a retreat to his home state of North Carolina with fellow songwriters, musicians, and producer Jay Joyce.
“Every day I would get up, or actually every night I would stay up most of the night writing songs. And we’d finish ‘em by two or three o’clock in the afternoon, and then we’d go in the studio and we’d record,” Church told Apple Music Country during an interview with Today’s Country Radio host Kelleigh Bannen. “I’ve never had anything creatively that was that, just soul lifting. And it was a lot of fun to do.”
Church will release the albums Heart (April 16th) and Soul (April 23rd) to the general public, while & (or Ampersand, April 20th) will be an exclusive for members of his Church Choir fan club.
Church is slated to perform the National Anthem with R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan at Super Bowl LV.