May 19, 2023 - News

Country group Chapel Hart goes its own way on new album "Glory Days"

Chapel Hart on stage in 2022.

Chapel Hart on stage in 2022. Photo: Trae Patton/NBC via Getty Images

Over the span of about one hour last year, ascending country trio Chapel Hart received endorsements that are more valuable than a gold record.

Flashback: The band was in its hotel room soaking in the success of its performance on the reality competition show "America's Got Talent." They earned a rare gold buzzer from Simon Cowell and the other "AGT" judges.

  • First came a tweet from superstar Dolly Parton praising their song "You Can Have Him Jolene." Less than an hour later, another legend, Loretta Lynn, challenged the band on Facebook to put their spin on one of her songs.
  • Chapel Hart, consisting of sisters Danica and Devynn Hart and their cousin Trea Swindle, went on to charm the nation and make it all the way to the "AGT" finals last summer.

What she's saying: "We started screaming," Devynn Hart tells Axios, remembering the moment when they first saw Lynn's post. "I know the people in the hotel were probably sick of us — almost kicked us out, but that's neither here nor there. Once we stopped screaming and calmed down, it was like, 'OK, now what song are we going to do?'"

Why it matters: Type the band's name into Google, and you will find the most popular related searches are "What happened to Chapel Hart after America's Got Talent" and "What are Chapel Hart doing now?"

  • Chapel Hart's answer to those questions arrives Friday with the release of their excellent new album "Glory Days."

Details: The album delivers more of the witty, fun and catchy songs the trio offered on their previous album.

  • Their early single "Welcome To Fist City" finds the band meeting Loretta's challenge with the same high-quality hooks and harmonies that put them on the national stage a year ago.

Of note: "Glory Days" is self-released, meaning the band has not yet partnered with a Music Row record label despite its television success and backing from country music royalty. The band has discussed the difficulties of breaking through as young Black women in a white, male-dominated industry.

  • Danica Hart says they received offers to work with other songwriters, doors that may not have been open prior to "AGT." But she says they spent time on their previous two albums trying to craft songs that would fit the industry and get played on country radio.
  • "For this album, we've just kind of thrown that concept out of the window," she says. "We're writing for people who are buying tickets to our shows. We're doing it Chapel Hart's way."

What's next: See Chapel Hart perform live at CMA Fest June 9.

💭 Adam's thought bubble: Chapel Hart's spunky harmonies would fit like a glove on country radio or Lower Broadway. Their work is reminiscent of The Chicks, SheDaisy and a long line of personality-forward groups.

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