Last month, Ann Wilson released a new original solo song called “Tender Heart,” a soul ballad showcasing the Heart singer’s powerful, emotive voice with sparse organ accompaniment.
“It’s got some really basic and beautiful gospel changes in it,” Wilson tells ABC Audio, adding, “I wanted to do it in a really intimate way, as if the person was talking to themself and bucking themself up. So I took everything out that I possibly could in the production…It’s just a basic four-piece band, with a B3 organ and just voice…and some backup vocals.”
Regarding the song’s theme, Ann says, “I’ve had a couple of heartbreaks in my life…like I’m sure everybody has. So I was reflecting on those.”
She explains, “To be clear, it’s if you believe one thing and then something else turns out to be true, and what that moment is like in your heart, where it just dawns on you all of a sudden, ‘Oh, I get it’…And that’s a powerful, powerful moment of revelation.”
Wilson recorded “Tender Heart” last fall in Seattle, when she and her husband, after months of quarantining at their home in Florida, leased a tour bus and drove across country.
For the sessions, Ann tapped several Seattle musicians, including current Heart bassist Andy Stoller and keyboardist Dan Walker. In addition to “Tender Heart,” Wilson recorded covers of Steve Earle‘s “The Revolution Starts Now” and Alice in Chains‘ “Rooster,” both of which have already been released as singles, plus as-yet-unreleased originals “The Hammer” and “Black Wing.”
The trip also included stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and various national parks.
“[When] we got back, we were so refreshed,” Ann shares. “We had all this music, and it was really a successful trip. And nobody got sick.”
By Matt Friedlander
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