Kelleigh Bannen knew she was taking a risk when she decided to release “Church Clothes” as her next single.
The song tells the tale of a couple who have become the masters of disguising their crumbling marriage from the public. When Bannen first heard the song she knew she had to record it but was concerned fans wouldn’t connect with the slow tune.
“When we recorded ‘Church Clothes,’ my parents had just separated so it was intensly personal and it felt kind of risky in a way,” Bannen told Fox News. “You are always taking a risk with a ballad but when a ballad really connects to the fans and to the world, often those are the really massive songs.”
Even though Bannen believed in “Church Clothes,” she had a hard time convincing her record label to release it as a single.
“We asked my record label to put it out and they were like, ‘Absolutely not. We’re not putting out ballads by women right now,'” Bannen said.
She ultiamtely decided to part ways with the label last summer.
“There’s a lot of freedom right now because I’m independent and I’m the one calling the shots, whether it works or not,” she said.
Bannen felt so strongly connected to “Church Clothes” because her parents had remained married throughout her childhood and divorced a couple of years ago.
“Growing up in a family where I watched my parents live out a similar story as a kid…the song is really personal to me,” she admitted.
The 36-year-old knew she had made the right decision when she rececived a call from country superstar Luke Bryan.
“One of the very first people that ever heard the song was Luke Bryan because we have the same manager,” Bannen recalled. “He immediately called me and was like, ‘that is an incredible song you have to do that.’ That’s a pretty good start as far as a vote of confidence.”
You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.