Single Review: Chapel Hart, “I Will Follow”

“I Will Follow”

Chapel Hart

Written by Nick Brophy, Jennifer Hanson, and Savannah Keyes

This record slaps.

Like a burst of fresh mountain air, trio Chapel Hart’s dizzying three-part harmony brings some much-needed twang back to country music.

“I Will Follow” is breezily but unpredictably produced, rising to the challenge of keeping the musical arrangement on the same level as the powerful vocalists up front.  There are some hand claps and some unexpected twists, including a goosebump-inducing a cappella snippet of “This Little Light of Mine” that takes us to church and back in under ten seconds.

This record is a throwback to when an extraordinarily talented group could just burst on to the scene out of nowhere, and instantly belong.  “I Will Follow” took me back to hearing Brooks & Dunn’s “Brand New Man” and Diamond Rio’s “Meet in the Middle” for the first time.  It’s like someone took the vocal chops of the Chicks and paired them with the creative arrangements of peak SHeDaisy.

For all the chatter about second and third and fifteenth chances this past week, how about we give Chapel Hart their first chance?  Add this to a playlist and it will instantly be the best damn thing on the radio.

An immediate contender for my favorite single of 2021, and the first listen of the new year that has made wading through new releases worth my time and energy.   Lead the way, Chapel Hart. I will follow.

Grade: A

10 Comments

  1. The energy, message, and sound of this song are so appropriate to the moment.

    I fully endorse celebrating first chances and new opportunities, and using this platform to herald artists like Chapel Hart.

    Imagine hearing this song sandwiched between William Prince’s latest work and Willie Jones’ new single.

    This song is the sound of opportunity and hope.

  2. Very good song, production and performance. I hope this isn’t a ‘one off’ but the start of long journey of country stardom

  3. I agree with everyone here that this is a standout, both traditional and modern in spirit. What stands in its way, in my opinion, is a country radio format that wants The Sure Thing, i.e., more Metro-Bro/Bromesiter sludge.

    But as the great film director Stanley Kubrick once said, “Nothing is as dangerous as a Sure Thing”. Give this record a chance.

  4. It turns out that they released an album called Out the Mud in 2019 and released a couple of other singles not on that album somewhat recently! I bought everything that I could find last night. Even if radio won’t support them, I hope they will gain a big enough following to sustain them.

  5. agree with the write-up and all the positive comments. They should do well. But I was dumb enough to think that Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band would be successful after their song “Dream Big” charted. But according to wiki it peaked at 27 on US Country in 2005 and the followup single Banjo Boy failed to chart.

  6. I’m the music director for a small, locally owned country station in Nebraska and given significant freedom in what I put in the rotation. This morning I went to add this and noticed something that will significantly hinder their chances of radio play: it’s not on two of the biggest services stations use to access and download new music.

    Play MPE has their song Jesus & Alcohol that was released last year (before I took over) and CDX doesn’t have anything from them at all. I don’t know how someone goes about getting on those services from the artist/promoter side, but not being on either means most stations won’t know this song even exists.

    My station will play it because I’m going to pull the mp3 out of my own music library, but a lot of stations, especially the big corporate ones, are not going to make that sort of effort to seek it out.

  7. Really liking this so far! It has such a nice melody, good harmonies, and for the most part, the production is refreshing compared to a lot of today’s mainstream country singles. Great message, too. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing this become a surprise hit this year.

  8. I’m getting more of a gender-switched Alabama vibe from this, rather than any direct precedent among female country groups; they’re better served when the accompaniment drops far back during the harmonies to let the vocals shine. “Jesus & Alcohol”, their previous single, has strengths similar to this one, but the production is so busy you’d have to listen hard to know it.

    I’d like to hear a good ballad from them. I bought “Out of the Mud” on LeeAnn’s principle above, but it’s clear that album did not have marquee writing/production support, and those two things are going to be absolutely critical for this group.

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