CCM: …with the end result being something very different for what we’ve come to expect from a MercyMe album…
What’s crazy about the album is that a lot of it feels very current, but a lot of the songs are very random next to the song coming up next. They all stand on their own on a different kind of style. I think that’s partially because we started writing a year ago. Typically, when you write, you start working on a song and then revisit it later and rewrite it 28 times. “We Win” was the first song we wrote on the first day we got into the studio. We’d started from scratch and got so excited about it that we tracked the entire thing that day. It was ready to mixed by midnight, and that’s never happened in our career. We just didn’t want to stop.

CCM: So, takes us a little further on this particular recording journey…
Normally you’re too concerned about getting all of the drums for the album first, for example. Then you get all the bass. This time we were like, “Forget that, man. Let’s just finish the song.” So that was our approach on the whole album. We would go in and finish one song at a time. Since Robby [Shaffer] our drummer lives in Dallas and the rest of us live in Nashville, we never want anyone to be away from their families very long, so we made a deal that we would get together and write for two days at a time and that’s it. Whatever we could write in two days, that’s it. Then we’d take a month off or had other things to do, then come back for two days, and see where we go.

Several songs were done in two days, while others didn’t get finished. Some things got scrapped. It was a slow, drawn-out process, but it allowed every song to stand out. Instead of recording them all at the same time where sonically you can tell they’re from the same session—which for years was what we wanted to do—now it felt like we’d spent a year on individual songs that ended up on this record. We gave time and attention to “We Win” and then we did “Hello Beautiful.” Each song had space before and after so we could focus in and ask, “Do we like this? Is it working?”

MercyMe, CCM Magazine - image

For me, it’s like each song has more of a personality because we had way more time to spend on each song.


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About The Author

Matt Conner

Matt Conner is a writer/editor living in Indianapolis.

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