Country star and reigning CMA Entertainer Of The Year has today released his latest album ‘Heart’. Through April, Church will release all three volumes of a new project that he’s called ‘Heart & Soul’. ‘Heart’, the first album in the series, is out today with another album called ‘Soul’ arriving next week (April 23). Next Tuesday, Church will also release a six-song vinyl EP called ‘&’ that’ll only be available to members of the Church Choir, Church’s fan club.
“I’ve always been intrigued when a song is born in a writer room – there is a magic that happens there,” shares Church of the unique process that went into making this project. “I wanted to put that in the studio form. So, every day, we would write a song in the morning and we would record the song that night. Doing it that way allowed for the songwriters to get involved in the studio process and the musicians to be involved in the creative process. You felt a little bit like you were secretly doing something that was special, and you knew it… You started going, ‘hmm, wait ’til the world finds out about this.”
The final result of that inclusive process is a three-part, 24-song collection from the man Stereogum praises as “the most consistently interesting star in the Nashville ecosystem” which features an elite list of songwriters who joined the secluded marathon writing and recording sessions. Part of the recording process for the project anchored solely by Church, with no features, were his longtime producer Jay Joyce and backing vocalist Joanna Cotten, as well as his touring band.
“The interesting thing about this process is that Jay kept asking me the last three or four days, ‘Are we done?’ and at that time I didn’t know what the project was,” notes Church. “I kept saying ‘God, this is going to be really hard. There’s a lot here. Is this a double album? And if it’s a double album, how do we leave out these five or six songs?’ I am the hardest critic on making sure every song deserves to be on the record, and I beat this thing to death going ‘this can’t be that good.’ But, it was just a special, special time and a special, special project that I think will be among our best.”