Eric Church’s ‘Heart on Fire’ Is Pure Nostalgia [Listen]
Eric Church's "Heart on Fire" is an uptempo dose of pure nostalgia. The latest new track from the Chief arrived early Friday morning (Jan. 29)
Written by Church alone, "Heart on Fire" has a heartland rock edge in its piano- and guitar-driven melody. Church, backup singer Joanna Cotten and the band bring a palpable passion to the track that puts listeners in the recording session with them, if they close their eyes and imagine.
"That look on your face was full of wild desire / Soakin' my soul in gasoline and settin' my heart on fire," Church sings in the chorus, using the verses to tell the story of young love, teenage freedom and sweet memories of it all. Throughout the song, he name-checks a number of classic songs (Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City," for example) and music legends (such as Elvis Presley).
"Heart on Fire" is the lead song on the Heart disc of Church's forthcoming triple album, Heart & Soul. The 24-song project came out of the star's marathon recording session in early 2020, which found Church, producer Jay Joyce and a crew of songwriters and musicians writing and recording one song each day in a former restaurant they turned into a recording studio for the occasion.
"If you listen to the songs and you hear what the songs are, you very easily go, 'This sounds like they were in the middle of quarantine.' But we weren't. I was not," Church shared backstage at the 2020 CMA Awards, during which he was crowned Entertainer of the Year. "For me, it just kinda happened the way it was supposed to happen."
Church's focus was so on the music-making format, however, that that the idea for a triple album idea came later. Early on, instead, he simply aimed to make sure that every song was the best it could possibly be.
"The interesting thing about this process is that Jay kept asking me the last three or four days, 'Are we done?'" Church reveals. "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,'" he adds. "But it was just a special, special time, and a special, special project that I think will be among our best."
Each of Heart & Soul's three discs is set for release on a different day: Heart is due out on April 16, & will arrive on April 20, and Soul will conclude the project on April 23. The middle disc will only be available to members of Church's fan club, the Church Choir.
Heart & Soul is Church's first new music since 2018's Desperate Man.
10 Things You Didn't Know About Eric Church: