On Friday, 10 November, Chris Stapleton will release Higher, his first album since his 2020 release, Starting Over. You don’t have to wait until then to hear new music, though, as the Nashville-based singer has unleashed the powerful first single, White Horse, which you can listen to below.
Since Starting Over was released, Stapleton appeared on Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) on the track, I Bet You Think About Me. Appearing outside of country music (or country pop, in Swift’s case), Stapleton covered Metallica’s smash hit, Nothing Else Matters, as part of the heavy metal legends’ tribute album, The Metallica Blacklist.
He also received a guest vocalist credit on Adele’s 30 after providing an alternate version of Easy On Me. Stapleton had a remarkably busy 2021, but it didn’t end there: the You Should Probably Leave singer also featured on Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello’s album, The Atlas Underground Fire (on The War Inside).
Fast forward to 2023, when Stapleton duetted with Carly Pearce last month on her song, We Don’t Fight Anymore.
Earlier this year, Stapleton brought tears to Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni in February after performing the American National Anthem at the 57th Super Bowl. We hope Sirianni has kept up with Stapleton since that performance, as White Horse is another stunning heart-wrencher from the country music star.
Kicking off with some rock and roll energy, Stapleton’s effortlessly perfect gravelly voice tells the tale of a Lone Ranger. White Horse was written over a decade ago, with Stapleton and co-writer Dan Wilson planning to use it for a film soundtrack.
Stapleton said about the song in a press release: “White Horse was a song that I wrote with my friend, Dan Wilson. We were out in Los Angeles, it was about, I think, probably late 2012, early 2013, and there was a movie called The Lone Ranger that was coming out, and I walked in the room to write with Dan at his house, and he said, ‘Hey they’re looking for songs for this Lone Ranger movie.’ I said, ‘Cool. Let’s write something. What do you know about it?’
“He goes, ‘Well, we don’t really know anything.’ I was like, ‘Well, let’s just make a song that might sound like that.’ And so, that’s kind of where that came from, and we got to talking about how it would be cool to have a kind of rock-driven-western-themed song, and that’s kind of where the song came from, and we kind of built it around a guitar riff, really.”
White Horse was produced by Stapleton, his wife and fellow musician Morgane Stapleton, and Wilson. You can listen to White Horse below.
Higher was produced by Dave Cobb, Morgane Stapleton, and Stapleton and will be released via Mercury Nashville. According to a press release, the album “showcases his supernatural voice and musical versatility with songs that span genres and defy easy categorization [sic].” You can pre-order Higher here.