It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 10 years since Chris Daughtry first lit our television screens on fire for the fifth season of American Idol.
Today, Daughtry will ignite fans once again with a new track, “Torches,” premiering exclusively through Billboard.
The song, co-written with Dave Bassett (Elle King, Rachel Platten, Shinedown), is one of two new songs included on the band’s first greatest hits record entitled It’s Not Over…The Hits So Far via 19 Recordings/RCA Records. The record is available for pre-order Jan. 29. A second bonus disc entitled Acoustic Live – 2015 will also be available for pre-order at Walmart.com on Jan. 29.
“Torches” addresses negativity in the world, and imagines a solution that will spread kindness like fire.
“We started with this piano progression and I just started spitting out melodies and lyrics and it became very clear what this song should be about,” he said. “There is all this hate and the violence and the riots and overall negativity, not just in our country but in our world. People go on the Internet just bashing people with no repercussions. All this vitriol — where did that come from? And how awesome would it be to take a little bit of that energy and just spread positivity and love and how that could catch fire and spread across the multitudes.”
Daughtry nails that emotion in the lyrics as he sings, “All the hate and lies around us/like an ember in the brush/can ya picture a world without it/turn it all into ash and dust.” Listen below.
By the chorus, the North Carolina native is urging the listener try a little kindness, or rather “take a hit and pass it down.” He asserts that “love is like a torch that is burning bright, carry it on.”
“With all of the blatant negativity in the world, I wanted to hopefully be a part of starting that fire and let it spread, and hopefully in some way contribute to making this world a better place,” he said.
Daughtry said he has written with Bassett — who has had massive success with King’s “Exes and Oh’s” and Platten’s “Fight Song” –before while working on previous albums, but didn’t end up cutting those songs.
“I love Dave and we always work well together — this one felt like the one,” Daughtry says. “With him coming from a rock background as well, we discussed the direction of our last album and what was missing.
“In hindsight it may have been a little too much of a departure sonically and so on these tracks, they definitely have modern elements but we also have some guitars in there,” he said. “For lack of a better explanation, it’s more of a hybrid of where we’ve been and where we are going.”
That said, the 36-year old singer said the timing is right for a greatest hits package.
“It’s been ten years since I got off the show, and it makes me feel old, really,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s been ten years. We are four albums deep, and I guess it’s time for a greatest hits.”
When RCA first approached him about it, his first thought was panic.
“Whoa, I guess that means it’s over! We’re putting out a greatest hits album. We’ve already written all the good stuff,” he laughed. “But no it’s more of a celebration of where we’ve been and a little taste of what to come with two new songs on the record. I’m very excited for people to hear ‘Torches’ and ‘Go Down,’ which is the other new track, because I think it’s a great sign of what they can expect from the fifth album.”
As for Idol, Daughtry said his involvement there isn’t quite over, either.
“I am actually going to be pretty involved this season,” he hinted of what is coming up for the Fox singing show’s Farewell Season. “Tune in and check it out. I can’t say when I am going to be on there, but it will be in a pretty big capacity.”
It’s Not Over…The Hits So Far Track List
01. It’s Not Over
03. Over You
04. What About Now
05. Feels Like Tonight
06. No Surprise
08. Life After You
09. Crawling Back To You
10. Waiting For Superman
11. Long Live Rock & Roll
13. Go Down
Acoustic Live – 2015 (Wal-Mart Exclusive Deluxe 2nd Disc)
02. Crawling Back To You
04. Tennessee Line
05. It’s Not Over
06. Life After You
07. Who’s They
08. Gone Too Soon
11. Waiting For Superman
12. 18 Years