Phillip Phillips is fired up on his new single. Released on iTunes on Monday, “Raging Fire” is another hard folk rocker from the “American Idol” winner, who scored hits with “Home” and “Gone, Gone, Gone” from his 2012 debut, The World From the Side of the Moon.
In a behind-the-scenes video of the song’s recording, a bearded Phillips strums his acoustic guitar in the studio as a string section plays energetically behind him. “We are dead to rights/ Born and raised,” he sings in his sweet/gravelly voice. “We are thick and thin ’til our last days/ So hold me close and I’ll surrender to your heart.”
In his signature fashion, most of the instrumentation drops out as Phillips hits the pre-chorus couplet, “Before the flame goes out tonight/ Yeah, we’ll live until we die” with just an acoustic guitar. The sound then explodes again as he urges, “So come out, come out, come out, won’t you turn my soul into a raging fire?”
Phillips, 23, recently told Billboard that he’s hard at work finishing his as-yet-untitled second album and that he and his songwriting partners finished “Fire” less than a week before it hit iTunes.
“It’s a love song, but it’s also a little heavier, too. It’s got a little bit of an edgier side to it, and I really like that,” he said of the single, adding that he hopes to have the album out by May. “It’s a completely different album that’s going to show a different side of me. We have singles that are completely different from ‘Raging Fire.’ ”
Phillips will be back on familiar territory on Thursday night, when he debuts “Raging Fire” on TV on the “American Idol” elimination show. He admits it’s nice to come home, but said it’s also a bit bittersweet, especially since, well, he doesn’t love doing TV.
“I like seeing all the people that I got to know… It’s cool to see all those faces,” he said. “But it’s also weird for me to get back up onstage and sing, because I hate live television, and I’m gonna be scared to death when I get up there. It’s always a little nerve-wracking.”