Rachel Platten: "Wildfire"
Rachel Platten: "Wildfire"
Courtesy of Columbia Records, used with permission.

It’s the first day of the new year and Rachel Platten has started it off perfectly. Her long-awaited debut, Wildfire, was released at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and there is simply no better way to usher in a fresh start than with the wonderful, helpful, healing music of such a genuinely compassionate individual. Rachel shines the brightest when she is selflessly offering the world the raw honesty of her soul rendered through the uplifting and inspiring beauty of her voice. Wildfire is an opus of faith and love and confidence in knowing that the hard times won’t last forever and the promise of a better tomorrow is real. She has lived this album. Rachel’s life is a remarkable story of never giving up, believing in yourself, overcoming setbacks, and ultimately triumphing over seemingly insurmountable odds. Wildfire is more than a debut, it is a victory for both Rachel and everyone who is lucky enough to hear her voice and be empowered by her message.

Through a series of videos released by her label, Rachel has offered her fans insight into each song on this rousing debut. Following is a comprehensive track-by-track look at Rachel Platten’s Wildfire.

Rachel Platten’s Wildfire Track-By-Track

“Stand By You”
“I love that the first line of the song is ‘Hands, put your empty hands in mine.’ I think that’s at the core of who I am as an artist. Put your empty hands in mine, let me help you, let me guide you, let me show you and empower you and help you find your own voice and help you find your own strength ... It felt like the perfect words to start the album with.”

“Hey Hey Hallelujah”
“Hey Hey Hallelujah” shows a little more of the fun and fiery side of Rachel. The track is a co-write that Platten tweaked into a sizzling song “about a guy being like, ‘Please be easy on me, I’m totally in over my head ... That was one of the most fun ones to record!”

“In June, I got some really hard news. I was losing my voice a lot on tour and my voice teacher in LA recommended that I go get checked by an ENT – an ear, nose, and throat doctor – to see if there was anything wrong with my vocal cords. I went in feeling like, ‘Oh, I’m fine, I’ll be fine. But he found a tiny little node on my left vocal cord, which is a really scary thing as a singer, it automatically always means surgery ... I was determined to heal myself.” But being who Rachel is, she took an extremely personal situation and spun it around into an incredible, universal song about “the other side of speechless, when someone leaves you speechless because they under stand you and your body ... The song’s a little bit sexy and it’s just about how someone can take your breath away.”

“Beating Me Up”
Rune Westberg, a Danish songwriter/producer from LA who has worked with artists such as Colbie Caillat and Adam Lambert was working with Rachel and “He had the line – it was totally him and he said it in a really great accent,” Platten gushed. “He said, ‘I wish my heart would stop beating me up.’ And I was like, ‘That’s brilliant, that’s brilliant Rune... I like your accent.’”

“Fight Song”
This is the anthemic breakout song that took Rachel two years to write and made everything in her career possible.

“Better Place”
Rachel wrote “Better Place” when she was living in LA. It was “a tiny little place on 17th and there was a beautiful tree outside the window ... The sunlight would always look really golden and it would make me feel really hopeful about the day, even though things in my life weren’t going great.” The artist went on to express that this song is about “optimism and hope that things might be okay again and that life didn’t have to hurt so much.”

“Lone Ranger”
“Lone Ranger” is a song that Rachel wrote about her love for the touring life and living in the now. It expresses her desire to not feel tied down and being able to wear the same pair of jeans for days at a time and finding herself in a new city every day. “There’s something beautiful about the touring life”

“You Don’t Know My Heart”
Sometimes the people who are closest to you seem to understand you the least because their knowledge of who you are is prejudiced by their own wants and needs. This song was a message from Rachel to her family to let them know her heart is in the right place, she wants to help, but because of her life, she can’t always be there in the way she so desperately wants to... and it tears her up inside. “Sometimes a song can kind of heal you in a way because you write about the feeling and then you get it out and you understand really where you sit with it.”

“Angels in Chelsea”
“Angels in Chelsea” is Rachel’s ode to New York City.

Before “Fight Song” there was “Astronauts.” It was the first fire in Rachel’s soul. “I wanted to write this song about a couple that would be safe way outside of the world ... the whole world would fall away and it was just you two kind of floating in space and you could see earth as this tiny little thing that could fit on the tip of your thumb and you’d be safe.”

Rachel had a fight with several people who were very close to her. “I got disappointing news, news that I didn’t want to get. There was an opportunity that I wanted so badly and I didn’t get it ... I went over to my piano and tears were falling down ... and that line, ‘Congratulations, you got what you wanted,’ came out ... It starts off with, ‘I’m stupid and confused, my ego’s raw and bruised.’ That’s the actual journal entry that I had written after the fight. That’s a personal one... that one hurt.”

“Superman” is a love song to Rachel’s husband. He was “going through a really tough time ... and I couldn’t be there all the time and he was hurting and I wanted to be there more.” Rachel needed her husband to know “that he didn’t have to keep being so strong, that it was okay to crash, and that I could carry him because he’d certainly carried me enough.” The song is saying, “You don’t have to be Superman, you don’t have to hold the world in your hands, you’ve already shown me that you can.”

In a special message to her fans, Rachel recently announced, “This year has far exceeded my wildest dreams -- Thank YOU. I’m signing copies of my album the first week of January (release week!!), in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. It would mean the world to see so many of you in person during this special week in my life.”

Rachel Platten: FacebookTwitter

Wildfire Album Release Parties
Jan. 3 – Los Angeles, Calif. – Barnes & Noble at The Grove – RSVP here
Jan. 5 – Hanover, Mass. – FYE at The Hanover Mall – RSVP here
Jan. 7 – New York, N.Y. – Hard Rock Cafe Times Square – RSVP here

Current list of Wildfire tour dates (Special guests Eric Hutchinson, Hunter Hunted, and Christina Grimmie – check individual dates to verify actual lineup for that venue)

Feb. 26 – Dallas, Texas – Granada Theater
Feb. 27 – Austin, Texas – Emo’s
Feb. 28 – Houston, Texas – Warehouse Live
March 1 – Nashville, Tenn. – Cannery Ballroom
March 2 – Atlanta, Ga. – The Loft
March 4 – Orlando, Fla. – Cheyenne Saloon
March 7 – Charlotte, N.C. – Amos’ Southend
March 8 – Philadelphia, Pa. – The Trocadero Theatre
March 10 – New York, N.Y. – Irving Plaza *SOLD OUT
March 11 – New York, N.Y. – Irving Plaza
March 12 – Boston, Mass. – Royale *SOLD OUT
March 14 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
March 15 – Millvale, Pa. – Mr. Smalls Theatre
March 16 – Toronto, Canada – The Opera House
March 18 – Detroit, Mich. – St. Andrew's Hall
March 19 – Chicago, Ill. – Park West
March 20 – Minneapolis, Minn. – Mill City Nights
March 22 – St. Louis, Mo. – The Ready Room
March 23 – Lawrence, Kan. – Liberty Hall
March 25 – Englewood, Colo. – Gothic Theatre
March 26 – Salt Lake City, Utah – The Depot
March 28 – Vancouver, Canada – The Vogue
March 29 – Portland, Ore. – Wonder Ballroom
March 30 – Seattle, Wash. – The Showbox
April 4 – San Francisco, Calif. – The Regency Ballroom
April 5 – Los Angeles, Calif. – El Rey Theatre *SOLD OUT
April 6 – Los Angeles, Calif. – El Rey Theatre