Eric Church is one of the most beloved figures in modern country music, his signature style and live music ability has created an army of hard-core fans, who helped his 2019 tour pull in $8.4 million in revenue. Despite this success, Church hasn’t always had chart-topping success at US country radio in recent years, which may have been the fuel behind his latest single, ‘Stick That In Your Country Song’.
One of the reasons that Church is so well-loved is his authenticity and willingness to experiment with genres, and his new single certainly follows suit. Starting with a quiet but defined banjo solo, the song builds and builds to really highlight the anger that Church is feeling. The production here by Jay Joyce really helps the song stand out, seamlessly blending an authentic country banjo sound with Southern/Classic Rock.
Unlike most Church songs, this single was not penned by the chief himself but by established Nashville songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Davis Naish. The lyrics express a frustration over generic songs of modern country whilst detailing what real-life themes are missing from the radio. There is some real cleverness here, with the lyrics both painting a picture of real-world tragedy whilst avoiding specific stories that could quickly age the song or take away from the song’s main message. The opening lyrics of the song are a real stand-out:
“Take me on up to Detroit city, Jails are full, the factories empty, Mommas crying, young boys dying, Under that red white and blue still flying”
This build up has the potential to make the song a fan-favourite at Church’s stadium concerts; I can already see this song being the opener of his set. Like many of his other work, the song utilises female backing vocals from the amazing Joanna Cotton, who is a member of Church’s touring band. Watching them perform these harmonies on stage is another reason why the song will stand out at shows.
This is the first single from Church’s next album, and really helps paint a picture of the sound of this upcoming record. Hopefully the album will feature both stadium-bangers like this one and also softer material such as ‘Some of It’ and ‘Monsters’, as the mix of highs and lows is just one of the reasons why Church’s albums are so good.
Overall this lead single is impressive, and will no doubt perform very well at Church’s stadium shows. I just cannot wait to see what the Chief will release next.