Mac Powell‘s distinctive vocals are a staple of the Christian music genre, whether it’s within his work with the Grammy-winning rock band Third Day or out on a solo venture. Since Third Day’s farewell tour in 2018, however, Powell has had more time to focus on the latter part of his career. On Friday (October 15), Powell released his most recent solo record titled New Creation.
“Even though I’ve been doing this for a long time, for me this is a new direction,” Powell tells American Songwriter, “and it’s me starting over. So, therefore, there is a sense of a new creation. It was a new process in the writing and in the recording process… I don’t have the same guys from my band playing on the record. There are different musicians and different producers that I’ve never worked with before. And there’s something exciting about that.
“I think every song has a different viewpoint, a different perspective, and different people working on it,” Powell adds. “I think in the past, I would have been scared of that. I would have thought there’s not a common thread and the songs are different with different people and so it’s going to sound so disjointed, and yet I think my voice and my writing is what kind of brings it all together and makes it all fit.”
Each of the ten tracks on New Creation fit together like sonic puzzle pieces building a picture of Powell’s capabilities as an artist. Powell first began bringing these songs to life with songwriters Jeff Pardo and Hank Bentley. “It ended up being [that] most of, almost half of the record, I wrote with those guys,” Powell states.
Then the first single that came to fruition, and the opening track on the record, is the sweet soul-stirring “River Of Life.” Powell explains that another collaborator, Ethan Hulse, brought the idea for the song to the co-writing table and Powell then helped complete the track.
“This was the first time where I said, ‘Alright, what do you guys have? What’s an idea that somebody else has where it’s not starting with me?’ I’m now finally comfortable [to say] let me help someone else finish their song idea,” Powell says about the first track.
Despite Powell’s new openness to the songwriting process, a significant portion of his latest album is autobiographical. “Love Is The Reason” and “1991” are highly personal for the artist as well as the record’s title track. “There’s a lot of truth in those songs,” Powell says, “as a songwriter, you want that in most of your songs but that’s especially coming through in this album.”
“‘1991’ definitely stands out because musically it’s so different than something I’ve normally done. It’s a little bit more ’80s sounding and got a different fresh vibe to it. [The song] actually scared me a little bit when we first came up with it because I just thought, ‘Okay, this is too far different for me, what my fans want to hear, and are used to.’ Yet every time I played the demo for somebody, people loved it. So I went, ‘Okay, maybe it’s not that different.'”
Other tracks like “The Center Of It All” and “Baptized” also stand out, but overall, New Creation has affirmed Powell’s new direction for the artist. “I want to continue to be an artist that shares my faith, that encourages people in their life, no matter where they are in their faith journey,” Powell concludes.
Listen to Mac Powell’s New Creation below, and check out tour dates here.
Photo Credit: Alex Ferrari