The upcoming unplugged release will feature new, acoustic recordings from the album. The full version of Let It Echo was recorded live at their church in Sacramento, California, and released in January of 2016. The album debuted on four Billboard charts including the Top Albums (Top 20), Digital Albums (Top 12), Christian Albums (No. 2) and the Top 200 charts (Top 40). Its lead single, “Fierce,” is currently a Top 10 Hot AC radio hit.
The Christian Post caught up with the band’s leading lady, Walker-Smith, at the top of the year to discuss their release. Walker-Smith maintained that the project was birthed from the group’s hardest season together and the unplugged version will definitely add to the emotion of the record.
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The mother of two admitted that on Let It Echo there are quite a “few things different about this record” from their projects in the past. The album marked the one year anniversary of their new church, Jesus Culture Sacramento, and is an extension of their new church.
Throughout the years Jesus Culture has been known for the anointed covers of some of worship music’s biggest songs. But this time around all the songs on Let it Echo are originals. Although together now for so many years, Walker-Smith revealed that they as a group still view themselves as “developing songwriters.” They partnered with many songwriters for cowrites on the album but also enjoyed developing their own craft as lyricist.
She and her friend/bandmate of 15 years, Quilala, have very different approaches to the way they write music. Walker-Smith said she waits until she’s inspired to write a song – an event that usually happens when she’s spending time in the presence of God. Quilala, however, is more “diligent” when writing and she said that he usually chooses a topic.
According to Walker-Smith, they never anticipated having so much success back when they first came together. They only sought out to sing songs that they encountered God with. But after the success of their first album, Jesus Culture just kept going.
The album is filled with songs birthed out of struggle and pain. Quilala, one of Jesus Culture’s prominent leaders, suffered the loss of his unborn baby in December of 2014. His wife, Alyssa, detailed the tragedy on Instagram.
Their goal for this album was the same as it has always been; Walker-Smith said her prayer is that “this record will be a rebirth and fuel to that fire that will draw people to Jesus and draw people into His presence.”
As far the the Jesus Culture movement, she said they are putting all of their energy into building up their new church and their community. Just in time to launch the Unplugged album the group will be heading out on the “Let It Echo” tour beginning on June 22.
For more information on Jesus Culture or their movement, visit JesusCulture.com