In her 2010 autobiography Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer, Chely Wright candidly admits that coming out of the closet might've limited her career trajectory within Nashville. Instead of playing a potentially losing game for the past nine years, she's ditched the country star role, abandoning possible radio hits for more introspective, less pop-friendly material that allows her to shine as a lyricist and stylist.

For an example of Wright's sonic and topical move away from 1999's great yet comparably safe "Single White Female," look no further than "Say the Word," the opening track off Revival, a five-song EP arriving on May 10.

The song, featuring duet partner and co-producer Jeremy Lister, sounds more like AM gold from the 1970s than a country radio hit from any decade. Despite its nostalgic feel, the song deals with finding closure for fresh emotions, caused in part by lost love.

“I think about past relationships I’ve had, and they will never leave me. It’s something my wife, Lauren, and I talk about a lot,” Wright says in a press release. “Those women will be a part of our current relationship, because they helped form who we are. ‘Revival’ is about forgiveness.”

For Wright, a gay rights activist with zero qualms about sharing her political beliefs on Twitter, the song also represents something broader-reaching than inner-personal healing.

“The song also speaks to a hope that I know I’m missing right now,” she adds. “I wake up and I’m feeling hopeless about a lot of things in the world and our government, in our public discourse. I like that that song stakes a claim on humanity and healing.”

Chely Wright's 'Single White Female' + More Albums Turning 20 in 2019

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