PREMIERE: Adam Mac and Jenna DeVries Join Forces for a Lyrical Rebellion on ‘Chapel’
Jenna DeVries had always wanted to write a song about her wife, Audrey.
"I wanted to tell the story of two people being in love and kind of running away," DeVries tells The Boot during a recent interview. "Initially, I thought it could be a bit of a rebellious song because it is one of those loves that maybe people aren't a fan of."
Indeed, DeVries has spent the past four years living alongside a woman and within a lifestyle her family still doesn't accept. "I just wanted to write a song about choosing love and running away and kind of reclaiming that community for yourself…and that love for yourself."
But she couldn't create "Chapel" by herself. Instead, she needed a powerful ally, which she found in fellow LGBTQ+ country music artist Adam Mac.
"I felt like the song felt kind of empty in and of itself," remembers DeVries, who began writing the beginnings of "Chapel" last fall. "This is a song about love and community, and I feel like it needs to reflect that as well. And so when I met Adam, I was like, 'This is exactly what it needs.'"
"It's a rather small gay scene in the country music space," adds Mac during an interview with The Boot. "I had just been following Jenna, and then we connected over DM after I put "Disco Cowboy' out."
From there, the conversation led to the two musical titans meeting for a writing session this past January alongside fellow songwriters Jen Miller and Pete Eddins, which coincidentally, Mac had "drunkenly met at [the Nashville bar] Red Door" many years ago.
"There was just kind of a magic chemistry from day one when we got in the studio together," says DeVries of the eventual writing of the new single "Chapel" and its accompanying music video, which are premiering exclusively on The Boot today. "You have this chorus talking about almost this forbidden, rebellious love story, and we thought it was such a cool idea to have two queer creators kind of telling two separate love stories. We're going to celebrate like these two rebellious love stories or lives that we've created for ourselves, and we want to invite people to be part of that."
And while the creation of "Chapel" occurred fast and organically for the vocal powerhouses and their writing team, there were points that caused Mac to pause.
"It was the 'spreading more than the gospel' lyric that made me a bit nervous," explains Mac. "I thought it would probably make my mom blush, but she loves it. (Laughs.) But that was the only moment where I wondered if I had lyrically gone too far. And everyone in the room was like, 'no, that's the line. We're using that line.'"
But make no mistake - the true meaning of "The Chapel" is starting to sink even deeper into the consciousness of both DeVries and Mac, especially considering the current political climate.
"On the surface, it could just look like your typical heterosexual song," says Mac. "But then you peel back the layers, and then you find the queer stories embedded in the song. That's what I love about this. Church can be anything as long as there's love involved."
"When we perform this song, there's just this feeling that comes over the room," adds DeVries. "It feels like you're in a new kind of church and it's just this celebration and this joy that's undeniable. That's the most important thing to me - leaving an impact with art and our freedom of speech and our freedom of expression. And the more that people try to limit that, I think the more important it is that voices like ours are heard."