(Under The) Heavy Sun

Album: Heavy Sun (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Daniel Lanois is best known for his production work, which includes Achtung Baby by U2 and Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan. But in 1989 he started releasing his own material using the production philosophy that brought him so much success: focus on the performance, and make sure it comes from a place of real emotion.

    "(Under The) Heavy Sun" is the first single from his Heavy Sun album; the song appeared in October 2020, six months ahead of the album.
  • In the 2010s, Lanois started playing guitar in a band called The Hallelujah Train, based out of the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Through the church, he met Johnny Shepherd, their choir director and organist, and enlisted him for the Heavy Sun album. Shepherd sings lead on this one, bringing a gospel feel to the track.
  • In a Songfacts interview with Daniel Lanois, he talked about the meaning behind this song. "'(Under the) Heavy Sun' talks about an imaginary place you might get to if you leave your ego hanging at the door and you walk in and you leave yourself open-hearted," he said. "It might be that magic place where you discover another dimension.

    John [Shepherd], who sings the lead, sings, 'I know a place where the spirit rises from the ground, from hurt to glory.' Because in fast times and in hard times, it's easy to fall into demise thinking you can't wiggle out of a problem.

    But if you manage to get yourself to this particular nightclub - and the setting could be in outer space or another dimension - when you enter that room you will find like-minded people who are also happy to be there and are looking to embrace the next chapter of life in an open-hearted way. It's just a fun ride in a '99 Cadillac – Johnny, who sings the lead, has a '99 Cadillac. We all get in the Cadillac, and we all want to drive to joys untold."

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