by Marcus K. Dowling
Soulful musicianship and earnest songwriting highlight “Never Break Heart,” the latest single revealed from Eric Church’s Heart & Soul, his seventh studio album releasing this April over three days between April 16-23.
Heart & Soul will be a 24-track, triple album highlighting the work he undertook during a month-long, marathon songwriting and recording session in Banner Elk, North Carolina, alongside his longtime producer Jay Joyce, backing vocalist Joanna Cotten, his touring band, and top session musicians.
“Never Break Heart” was teased in an April 2020 acoustic performance, filmed after Church recorded tracks before the COVID-19 shutdowns. Regarding the process, to The Tennessean, Church noted, “The best way [reevaluation has] ever worked for me in my career is to get as uncomfortable as you can get. I think the entire thing was everything I had to give. There’s nothing else — internally — by the time we got to the end of this thing. I was spent. I was like a wrung-out dishrag. That’s where Heart & Soul came from. That was everything we had.”
Church adds that the album highlights his writing process through what he referred to as a “boot camp.” Continuing, he says, “What was going through my head one day versus the next? That’s what makes it its own project.”
Ultimately, this type of project will be a one-off style release as Church notes it involving “[going out] as far out as I can get, from a mental health standpoint. I was writing all day, not sleeping at night … I couldn’t shut it down at all.”