Eric Church is preparing to release his triple album, Heart & Soul, in April, and the project is unlike any other the country star has released. Written and recorded during a marathon 28-day writing retreat in the mountains of North Carolina, the trip was a new kind of creative process for Church, who admitted he was "nervous" about it.
"So, my idea was, and you know this. It's always interesting when you have a group of songs that you've written and you say these are my 10 best or 20 best, and everybody listens to them and they decide," he told Kelleigh Bannen on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen on Apple Music Country. "So I feel like that by the time you get to the studio, those songs have been listened to and thought about and played." "I mean, I don't want to use that tired is the wrong word, but by the time you get there, it's just, I don't know, it's different," he continued. "So for me, what I wanted to do was, I wanted to write a song the same day we recorded that song and let creativity lead and if it sucked, it sucked. Let it just be what it was going to be. And there's nothing like the birth of a song. And you know that idea and there's nothing like that."
"You get the goosebumps and you sit there, God this is good," Church told Bannen, explaining that he wanted to "carry that directly into the studio." "And that's what we tried to do. So every day I would get up or actually every night I would stay up most of the night writing songs," he recalled. "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, and it's just the most freeing, I don't know. I've never had anything creatively that was that, just soul lifting. And it was a lot of fun to do."
The "Hell of a View" singer added that he felt most nervous on the first day of the trip. "Because you've brought these people there for a bit of an experiment and they're unsure and I was unsure," he explained, sharing that the first song recorded was "Heart on Fire," which is the first track on the Heart album.
"And then it just started to unfold, it started to unfurl," Church recalled. "And as we got halfway through the project and we were a couple of weeks in, I started going, 'Damn, this is good.' And it kind of went from there. We never went in there and went, 'Hey, we're going to make three albums.' That's not the way, we just said, 'We're going to make music.' I fully believed that we going to suck a lot more than we did, but it worked out, I think that's to the credit of creativity."