Life’s epiphanies don’t always happen when you want them to. When they come, however, it’s important to listen, or in Nashville-based duo FOR KING + COUNTRY’s case – act. Their new album What Are You Waiting For is a call to action following a long period of self-reflection and personal growth. The brothers recognize a deep shame among humanity and want listeners to embrace imperfection to better meet people where they are.
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The band’s fourth studio album, released on March 11, is a result of prolonged quiet and isolation during the pandemic. Joel and Luke Smallbone both underwent a personal growth journey and emerged with a strong message to unify their listeners toward healing.
“This tragedy of the pandemic is a perfect example: it wasn’t just New York City or a few countries. It was the whole world!” said Joel. “We can use this moment to build a little more resolve. The arts, in general, have a tremendous ability to transcend.”
“When you go through the unimaginable, perhaps unexpected, challenges, the suffering produces bravery,” Luke shares. “Bravery turns to courage, then hope, which I thought was fascinating.”
On the single “Together,” the group solidifies their theme of transmuting shame to courage. They emphasize in the lyrics that we are all uniquely imperfect and that aspect of ourselves should be embraced with open arms.
This is for the busted heart
This is for the question marks
This is for the outcast soul
And if we fall, we will fall together
“Looking at the songs– ‘Broken Halos,’ ‘Unity,’ ‘H.O.P.E,’ ‘Together’–the greater questions are where the urgency and hope lie. To recognize imperfections, but not be drowned in shame when we do,” says Joel. “Knowing if you ignore (flaws), you can become such ruthless judgers of everyone else.”
“If we can have that and all say, ‘I’ve been wrong,’ it’s possible to meet humanity right where they are. Rather than wanting to drown in your shame, we can heal together,” Luke agrees.
The duo is currently on their U.S. spring tour to accompany the album. Click HERE for tickets and show dates.
Photo by Jeremy Cowart.