Chapel Hart Chronicles Their Journey To The ‘Glory Days’ With Captivating New Album
“Where we are in our lives, where we are musically, these are the glory days!”
Chapel Hart; Photo by Alexis Carter
Chapel Hart is giving fans a closer look into their country music roots and reintroducing themselves through their third studio album, Glory Days, out May 19.
The project represents all the monumental highs and lows that the trio, made up of sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle, have experienced together in the past year, both personally and professionally.
Glory Days also serves as the name of their first headlining tour, which spans coast to coast with sixty shows and counting.
“As we were deciding, what do we name the tour, and even preparing for the tour and right up into it, we would always get wise advice from our fans and family. You know, older people who were like, ‘listen y’all, this is about to be the time of your life. Make sure you take time to take it in. Like, these are your glory days, so make sure that you’re paying attention because they go so fast,” Danica told Country Now as she discussed the inspiration behind the title.
“So we were very conscious of that and we were like, these are the glory days, this is the tour,” she continued. “But as we’re going out in the tour and we’re living in these moments and we’re living on the tour bus and meeting new people and performing on the CMT Awards, we were like, ‘this is the album. This is the season.’ So it just felt so right. I think even when we think about, and talk about it still feels so right.”
The Mississippi-born and Louisiana-raised group has taken the lessons they’ve learned, the people they’ve met and the music that’s guided them along the way and compiled it all into one collection.
Trea shared, “It’s really the only way to describe like the amalgamation of where we are in our career. Where we are in our lives, where we are musically, these are the glory days.”
Listeners will experience a variety of themes through heartbreak ballads like “Love In Letting Go” to upbeat, sing-along drinking songs like “Dear Tequila,” and deep sentiments in “Home Is Where The Hart Is.” Through these songs, they embark on a journey full of incredible successes such as performing at the CMT Awards for the first time and earning the golden buzzer and making it to the finals on America’s Got Talent.
At the same time, they let vulnerability be a driving force as they open up about some of the more difficult times like losing loved ones and supporting their bandmate, Danica, through her vocal surgery. Fans will feel right at home and might even find an opportunity to reflect on their own “Glory Days.”
“All of the songs on that album represent our glory days and our journey,” Devynn explained. “You have the ballads, ‘Love In Letting Go,’ where we talk about loss and we’ve all experienced loss in this last year. Lost my grandmother at the end of last year. So in the glory days, there are ups and downs throughout the process no matter what, you can’t stop the bad things from happening. And I feel like that’s just us being transparent with our fans.”
She continued, “These are some of the best days of our life right now, but there are also still things that we go through. We still experience heartbreak and all the things that, you know, come with that. I love the track list and how it just very transparent. We said yesterday, it’s like we’re giving our fans a deeper look into us and getting to know us better.”
The 11-track album features a slew of new songs along with several previously-releases including the title track, “American Pride” and “Welcome to Fist City,” which serves as their modernized, unapologetic take on Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.”
Chapel Hart chose to write and record a continuation of Lynn’s classic tune not only because it’s one of their favorite country songs, but also because it was directly requested by the country legend before she passed.
The trio explained that Lynn reached out to them after hearing the song they wrote in response to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Following Chapel Hart’s golden buzzer performance of “You Can Have Him Jolene,” the legend took to social media to say, “I love it, ladies. Now I’m wondering what you might be able to do with one of my songs!”
Shortly after Lynn’s passing, the rising group of singer/songwriters announced that they had chosen to complete her request with their new song, “Welcome To Fist City.”
The upbeat, fiddle-ridden tune finds Danica as the Sheriff, Trea as the judge, and Devynn as the mayor. Together, they continue with the same grit and empowerment that the 1968 single held. This song was originally based on Lynn’s real-life experiences of hearing rumors that her husband wasn’t being faithful while she was away. Although it was a bit controversial at the time, “Fist City” became a hit single and taught listeners that she’s not one to mess with.
“It was hard in a sense to take on the challenge that was given by Loretta, but one day I think it just hit us like a ton of bricks. It was like I don’t think there’s anything that we can change because she just had that backwards upbringing like us,” Danica explained. “So we were like, what if we just extended the story? What if we finished telling the story? So, one of our favorite songs collectively is ‘Fist City,’ and we were like, what if she didn’t listen…So she didn’t listen and then we now had to tell her, ‘Welcome to fist City.’ And the song is so exciting. I feel like Loretta’s spirit is there and we get to be like right smack dab in the middle of it.”
“I think we often say that, you know, if you’re gonna cover a song or pay tribute to a classic song, especially when by such a legend as Loretta Lynn, you either have to do it justice or do it better,” Trea added. “And the fact that I feel like the praise from her family as well as her fans, it kind of lets us know that we did her justice.”
Unfortunately, Lynn never got the chance to hear the final version, but her granddaughter, Tayla Lynn, expressed great joy and approval of the song.
“I feel like getting that validation from the family side of it just kind of made our hearts happy and that hopefully we made her proud in the process of this,” Devynn said as she reflected on the meaning this song holds for her and her bandmates.
Glory Days is the band’s third full-length collection following their debut album, Out the Mud, and their critically-acclaimed sophomore project, The Girls Are Back In Town.
The difference between their most recent release and this album is that they have moved past the stage of trying to prove themselves in the industry. Now, they’re focused on making music that truly means something to them and showcases a new level of growth that they’ve achieved together.
“I feel like the third album, as we’ve grown into our artistry as individuals and as a collective, we’ve allowed America to kind of like look inside and everybody’s kind of getting to know Chapel Hart more,” Trea explained. “It’s kind of like the song, ‘If You Ain’t Wearing Boots.’ It’s kind of like taking people home and introducing them to our family, letting them meet our crazy friends down the street and the family members you don’t really talk about and you know, go through those losses. It’s kind of like the third date. It’s like we’re going steady with the fans at this point. Like it’s getting real personal.”
As they continue on their headlining run, Chapel Hart is next slated to appear at the Hotel Café, in Hollywood, CA on May 19, followed by a visit to Fort Payne, AL on June 3 and a performance at Nashville’s annual CMA Fest on June 9.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.