Gault started writing the track while living in Oneonta, N.Y. in the foothills of the Catskills, but saw its final form after moving to Nashville. “I put the finishing touches on ‘Churches and Bars’ after I moved to Nashville but it’s really about Oneonta,” says Gault. “There are so many churches, and I don’t know if this is still true, but at some point Oneonta had the most bars per square mile of any town in upstate New York.”
Putting the “alternative” in “alt-country,” Sophie and the Broken Things are kicking off their 2022 with the mischievous “Churches and Bars.” The song feels like it’s been passed through a filter of 1970s grime and inventiveness, with Sophie Gault’s distinctive voice rising above the off-kilter free. “Churches and Bars” is the latest single off the band’s forthcoming debut album, Delusions of Grandeur.
Although Gault drew inspiration from Oneonta, the song’s indictment of hypocrisy and two-timing channels Music City. “The themes and imagery are definitely all there — the drinking, broken hearts and petty jealousies,” she explains to WMOT‘s Ana Lee, where the song premiered. “But that’s everywhere.”
Delusions of Grandeur follows Sophie & the Broken Things’ 2020 eponymous EP. Gault began writing many of the songs after moving to Nashville in 2014 and serendipitously meeting Americana icon Julie Miller at local haunt Bobby’s Idle Hour – an experience meaningful enough for Gault to honor Miller’s song “Broken Things” with her full-band moniker. The album is due out on Feb. 25, 2022 via Petaluma Records.