Popular Christian youth band Hillsong Young & Free’s new album “All Of My Best Friends,” released Friday, was recorded live at the Australian church’s summer camp prior to the coronavirus pandemic with a message that could not be more relevant.
Y&F singer-songwriter Melodie Mezieres-Wagner told Fox News the project was “born out of collaboration, unity, and seeking to express the raw, bright-eyed passion of our youth group … capturing the uninhibited feeling of discovering the love of Jesus.”
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“These songs were written far before the crazy times that we’re going through right now, but we truly believe that these lyrics were directed by God,” she said.
“On All of My Best Friends, you’ll hear inspiration from punk rock, 2000’s dance, Caribbean beats, country, gospel, and R’n’B. We’re really proud to present our interpretation of what pop in 2020 sounds like.”
The band originated in 2012 at Hillsong Church, a global church with a massive influence on contemporary worship music around the world, releasing worship music targeted for youth.
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“Our hope and prayer for this album is that even though we are going through such an unprecedented time that these songs would give young people words and prayers when they may not know exactly what to say,” Mezieres-Wagner added.
Looking at rapper Kanye West’s Sunday Service and other celebrities like Justin Bieber publicly expressing his faith shows a “shift happening in the culture,” Mezieres-Wagner said.
“We think people are gravitating towards the message of Jesus either consciously or unconsciously because there’s really no substitute for the presence of God and at the very least, it makes them feel good.”
Their fourth album features 13 live performances recorded in January at Summercamp, presented by Hillsong Youth in Sydney, Australia, along with seven studio recordings.
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The title track, “Best Friends,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot AC chart after being released earlier this year, was written with Hillsong London’s Josh Grimmett as an outside-the-box “brutish punk rock song” and it almost didn’t make the cut.
“We didn’t think it would ever be used on the album,” Y&F singer-songwriter Karina Savage said. “There’s so much young people deal with when it comes to social media and we know that they are done with the superficial hunger for truth … society can often try to push things on us as young people, but the real truth comes from God.”
The band also released six other singles leading up to Friday, including “Uncomplicated,” a stripped-down worship song about simply connecting with God; “As I Am,” a heartfelt worship song about God’s love; “World Outside Your Window,” an upbeat song about making change and taking action; “Lord Send Revival,” a worship song about revival; and “Never Have I Ever,” an upbeat song about experiencing God’s love.
Y&F singer-songwriter Alex Epa Iosefa attended summer camps since he was 12 years old and it was where he experienced God in a radical way and felt called for the first time, so “letting the world in on experiencing our youth ministry go after God in its most raw elements, felt like a no brainer,” he said.
“And, it didn’t disappoint! It felt raw, authentic, fresh – a real stake in the ground for our youth ministry and songs that we needed for a time like this.”
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Jack McGratth, a songwriter who plays the keys for Y&F, added, “It’s still so crazy to me how these songs were recorded back in January, yet, the message behind them is so needed for what the world is going through right now.”
The band hopes to tour soon but is taking it in stride.
“We never could have imagined the turn of events that would follow the recording of this album and yet it is full of relevant songs that bring joy and perspective in the midst of uncertain times. I am so proud of that,” Y&F singer-songwriter Laura Toggs said. “Y&F will continue to inspire people towards hope in Jesus and create anthems that young people everywhere can run with.”