Of the inspiration behind the track, Michael shares, “In 2015 I was talking with a friend of mine from the military. She shared with me her secret she had been holding inside since we left the war. She had been raped in the military and now she was dealing with MST (Military Sexual Trauma). I asked her if she was ok? She told me that she was fine and I believed her. However something in her voice as we said goodbye would suggest otherwise. Instead of investigating the feeling of uneasiness that I had I chalked it up as me just being nervous. She was a strong gal and I didn’t want to impose on that so I left it alone. Two weeks later her sister contacted me and said that she had committed suicide. Everything inside of me wished that I had acted on that gut feeling I had that saying something is not right. The song is about getting back that last conversation. It’s about telling someone how much they mean to you and how they mean to the world. Encouraging them to search their heart and find reason to keep loving and living.”
“If It’s In Your Heart” comes from The War and Treaty’s acclaimed debut album, Healing Tide, which is out now.
Michael and Tanya took distinctly different paths to becoming The War and Treaty. Michael is a wounded warrior who found his voice while serving in Iraq, when he was pulled from the frontlines to write songs for the fallen. Tanya is a lifelong artist, drawn to singing’s power to take another’s pain away. The two met while performing at the same festival and became inseparable, going on to get married and create the musical collaboration that is The War and Treaty.
The release of Healing Tide follows a breakout year for the Albion, Michigan-based duo, whose debut EP, Down to the River, came out last July. The War and Treaty made headlines after a breakthrough performance at the 2017 Americana Music Festival & Conference, stepping up to fill an ill Buddy Miller’s spot. Rolling Stone highlighted the performance in their “AmericanaFest 2017: 20 Best Things We Saw,” praising, “Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter nearly leveled the Cannery Ballroom…Mixing primitive blues, R&B and gospel-style shouting, War & Treaty’s songs…were tense and hypnotic, shrouded in darkness but punching their way to the light.” Additionally, Billboardfeatured the pair as one of “The 10 Bands You Need to Know About for This Year’s Festival Season” declaring, “two talents whose chemistry in the live setting is raw, joyous and spectacular. Both Trotter and Blount are propulsive singers, and their band seamlessly blends bluegrass, folk, gospel and soul.”