Hey guys! Thanks for hopping onto my blog on single-release day. It’s so exciting to be releasing new music, but for many reasons it’s a scary time to be doing so.

Firstly, this project is my first ‘worship’ album, at least as far as cultural definitions go, (perhaps that’s a subject for another blog). Although faith has always been central to my music, these songs are a slight departure from what I broadly do and that is risky. So it’s important to me that you know the context for that creative and spiritual choice.

If you have followed my music for a while, I can’t say enough how much you matter to me. Your feelings matter to me. I’m not sure if I ever told you this, but you’re actually my muse when I sit in a writing room. I vividly picture the moment I will sing the song to you for the first time. I imagine you singing it too. I want the words and melody to mean something and to do something for your life. I try to visualise what you’re going through and what you need. I want the song to serve a purpose, giving language for where you’re at in your life, or journey with God.

So you need to know, the choice to make an album that sits in the worship category was a choice that felt very significant. Over the coming weeks as I share the songs, I want to share the stories too because it’s all real, and it’s all for you to make your own. I hope that these songs can help you express what you need to say, and that they can help you connect with God.

I’ve always said that my music is for everyone, and it always will be. So if you’re not a believer, please know that I’m still here for you and you are so loved. I know that these songs can have meaning for you if you enjoy them in your own way. Let them be whatever they are to you.

I have to be honest, it feels like a strange time to be releasing new music. There are so many reasons why it’s not the best idea. With most folks at home, there’s an abundance of content everywhere and the web is a noisy place. The world is also a hyper-sensitive place, with so many in a state of fear or grief. I don’t wanna be ignorant of that, and I don’t want to use the crisis as an excuse to be disingenuously sentimental. But ‘My Hope Is In the Blood’ came from something real in my life and the song helped me. So I believe it could help others too.

A little while ago, something happened that caused a lot of pain for the people I love. For a long time I struggled to let go of the hurt and anger caused by someone else’s choices. I just couldn’t make sense of it all. But thankfully I had a breakthrough before it broke me.

I began to remember the power of God’s grace in my own life. At age twenty I was lost, confused and broken. I’d made mistakes and I felt hopeless. But I asked God for help and he opened the door immediately. He loved me generously when I was empty. I received the gift so freely, without argument. Yet now I was struggling to do the same for someone else. I realised that holding onto someone else’s mistake was more than just hypocritical. It was an insult to the beautiful gift of grace I’d received. To stay angry, to keep punishing the person who hurt me was to suggest that the cross was somehow not enough.

Whilst all of this chaos was unfolding I was on my way to Nashville. Joel and I were heading over on a writing trip with all kinds of plans to write country and pop songs. But as things got messy and complicated at home, I found myself unable to write my usual sorts of songs. Feeling disappointed, angry and confused I knew I was at a crossroads. I could either shut down, or lift my focus away from the situation and onto God.

I wrote ‘My Hope is in the Blood’ with two dear friends, Rhyan Shirley and Josh Bronlewee. We met, talked and found the words to write this worship song. It is a confession of God’s power which doesn’t diminish when we fall. What Jesus finished on the cross can’t be challenged. His grace never loses the fight. When we can’t speak, it speaks for us. It overwhelms every kind of darkness, whether in the wounds caused by a friend, or in our battle to forgive them. So I hope if you’re hurting this helps you. If someone has wounded you I hope it brings healing. If you’ve made a mistake I hope it reminds you where your hope is. Wherever you are in the circle, sing it loud and be blessed.