Eric Church, North Carolina’s own country superstar, just released his second single in anticipation of his upcoming album, Desperate Man. The new song, “Heart Like a Wheel,” features the same classic rock-inspired sound of the album’s eponymous lead single. But while “Desperate Man” was an upbeat, swampy anthem that would’ve felt right at home on a Creedence Clearwater Revival album, this track is slow and bluesy, like an old Clapton B-side.
“Heart Like a Wheel” is an ode to a love that just doesn’t make sense. Church croons about a woman he has no business being with, someone whose “caviar and mascara” shouldn’t fit with his “corduroy and leather.” And yet, like a wheel, their hearts roll on.
The song has a distinct throwback vibe, with production that conjures images of late-night jam sessions in dusty recording studios. You can tell that this music wasn’t made on a computer. It keeps a measured and confident pace, chugging along like an old freight train pulling out of the station, which makes it an odd choice for a single. Nonetheless, Church’s emotive delivery and the earthy, organic quality of the music makes for a captivating listening experience.
If the singles off of Desperate Man are any indication, this album promises to be heavily influenced by classic rock, blues and soul music — which is definitely not a bad thing. Church has clearly been taking notes from the recent wave of alt-country that’s being spearheaded by artists like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. This resurgence of classic Nashville aesthetics has so far proven to be a perfect fit for country’s favorite outsider. We can only hope that the rest of the project delivers as authentic and raw an experience as these first few songs.
Take a listen to “Heart Like A Wheel” HERE:
Eric Church’s new album, Desperate Man, will be released on October 5th, 2018.
Featured Image: Capitol Records