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expressions By matt conner
expression of Hope
SElaH rEturnS witH tHEir moSt inSpiring projEct to datE
Fourteen years toward any endeavor is a notable achievement, but in the music industry, it seems like a lifetime. Yet the resonance and depth of the music and message of Selah has carried the five-time Dove Award winning vocal trio since ’97. Given their current momentum at radio, don’t expect the end to come anytime soon.
In fact, Allan Hall says their latest album is the one he’s most excited about. Entitled Hope Of The Broken World, the members of Selah veered away from the many hymns that brought them to this point and chose more original material than ever— including songs they wrote themselves. The heart and message remain the same, however, meaning Selah fans will still connect, perhaps at an even deeper level.
“We’re really excited about this album,” says Allan Hall. “This is our fourteenth year in the industry. With the state of the industry, that’s a miracle in itself. But we feel really blessed and we’re very thankful. We love everything we’ve ever released, but I’m just as excited about this album as anything we’ve ever done. What sets this one apart is that it’s nearly all original material—whether we co-wrote or had other songwriters.”
One prominent songwriter on Selah’s new album is recent Dove Award and BMI Songwriter of the Year winner Jennie Lee Riddle. The writer of “Revelation Song” has penned other tunes for Shane and Shane, Rebecca St. James, Chris Tomlin, NewSong and SuperChick. When it came to working with Selah, Riddle was extra prepared.
“She told me she’d been a fan of ours for years and that she had a folder of songs in her house in Texas that she’d written for us over the last decade,” says Hall. “I asked her why she hadn’t sent the songs to us before and she said, ‘I didn’t know if you guys would take me seriously, so I’ve just never sent them. I’ve just kept them here in a folder for you.’”
Three of Riddle’s songs made it onto the new album, including the title track co-written with Carl Cartee. Each member, including Hall, also has their own solo song on the album, with Amy Perry offering “I Look To You” and Todd Smith singing “Moments.”
Even with so much time having passed, Hall says the sweetest moments of being in Selah remain the same since the beginning with their ability to provide fans with comfort, hope, perspective and healing.
“The best part of this is when we still get messages from people,” says Hall. “We’ve always revised some older hymns and a lot of those songs have deep meanings and stories behind them. We usually research those to find out what the author was intending, and a lot of those are written from places of pain or sorrow. Because we do a lot of hymns, we get a lot of people at concerts who are suffering from cancer or who’ve gone through deep, harrowing experiences. But they’ll tell us that our music brings them solace or hope. We wear that as a badge of honor.”