• Bryon Harris

Hymn and Heart – ‘Prayin’ Women’

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

Hymn and Heart are the duo of Erinn Bates and Glenn Ziser. The duo has seen their share of highs and lows in the heartbreak town of Nashville, but the one thing that grounds them is each-other and their music. The pair met in the School of Music at Belmont University and were married on Waimanalo beach in Hawaii. Before joining together musically, Bates wrote songs, played mandolin, and sang lead vocals in country duo, The Darlins who opened for artists including Montgomery Gentry and Darryl Worley. Ziser composed music for television shows Guiding Light and As The World Turns, and traveled with a percussion group. Ziser won an Emmy award for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series.” Ziser brings a laid back west coast vibe to Erinn’s native Nashville country roots. A great way to get acquainted with Hymn and Heart is to listen to their uplifting song, "Prayin' Women."

“Prayin’ Women” begins with guitar playing a hook, and drums, bass, mandolin, shaker, and tambourine in support. Strong and confident vocals by Erinn Bates enter with the first verse, along with acoustic guitar, which begins to propel the song forward. Bates voice has a signature Nashville sound that is radio-ready. Building on the four to the floor groove in the first verse, more drum orchestration is added to further develop the energy of the song.

Upon arriving at the chorus, the song blooms through effective arrangement choices, which now include Glenn Ziser’s complementing vocals singing in harmony. Coming out of the exciting chorus, the song connects to the next verse through an interlude featuring a soulful, gliding slide guitar part. The song continues to develop with exquisite background vocals, before pushing on for a climactic double chorus, and ending with a scaled back tag.

The lyrics in “Prayin’ Women” are inspired by the brave,and strong women in Bates’ family. In the song, Bates sings about how these women are “born with a fightin’ spirit in our bones” and how “some of us got fire in our blood.” As a result of the women in her family, Bates also sings about how “somethin in me always feels protected.”

With “Prayin’ Women,” Hymn and Heart delivers to listeners a fantastic song with drive, energy, and inspiration. At the song’s heart is a well written melody and meaningful lyrics. Furthermore, the song is arranged well, and the performance is stellar. With their song, Hymn and Heart demonstrate to listeners that they are a powerhouse duo with a unique sound that could easily chart. Shout out to Michael Estok on an outstanding production.

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To learn more about Hymn and Heart, please visit their website.


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