Since her brilliant 2010 LP Lifted Off the Ground, Chely Wright’s musical output has been both startlingly confessional and increasingly eclectic. That LP, which coincided with Wright’s coming-out and her Like Me memoir, forever altered the ACM Award-winning country singer’s career trajectory but it allowed her the freedom to heal from years of concealing her truth.
Although shaded in melancholy, the Kansas native’s most recent release, the 2018 holiday EP Santa Will Find You, was as much a love letter to her younger self as it was to her twin sons with wife Lauren Blitzer-Wright. Now, with the joyous Revival, the five-track EP Wright will release May 10th, she has penned empowering affirmations to the present and future.
The lead track from Revival is “Say the Word,” a duet with the EP’s co-producer, Jeremy Lister, who helmed the project with multi-instrumentalist Dustin Ransom. A luminescent slice of Seventies AM pop, the song revisits the theme of hearts in hiding, but this time tempered with sunny resolve. “Say the word, say the word, I’m yours/Could be the best we ever find, Venus is a mastermind,” Wright sings with Lister on harmony, invoking the Roman goddess of love. The song’s inspiration, however, came from a different continent in a contemporary setting.
“A friend of mine was visiting Israel and sent me a video she’d taken of a man playing a cool, unusual instrument in the dark of night on the shores of the Dead Sea,” Wright tells Rolling Stone Country. “I was captivated by the harmonics and intervals of the music. I couldn’t stop watching it. I showed the clip to my producer/co-writer Jeremy Lister and he loved it, too. We tried to emulate the melodic voicings and the general vibe of what that guy was playing. Out popped ‘Say the Word,’ and it seemed like an obvious duet from the get-go.”
Revival will be available May 10th on Painted Red Music.
Revival track listing:
1. “Say the Word” (featuring Jeremy Lister)
3. “I Will”
4. “As Long As I’m Your Lover”
5. “Just When I Need You”