Atlanta-based songwriter, worship leader Aaron Keyes releases his sophomore album, Dwell, June 21 from Kingsway with EMI CMG Distribution in the US. A modern collection of 13 songs composed in the battle of the everyday, forged in the fires of sacrifice and sharpened by the iron of Scripture, Dwell follows Keyes’ acclaimed album, Not Guilty Anymore.
Pulling from 60 to 70 songs that Keyes “road tested” while leading worship, Dwell producers John Hartley (Matt Redman, Rebecca St. James) and Stu G (Delirious?) helped handpick the best of these anthems.
“John is so great at identifying and producing songs that connect with congregations,” Keyes explains, “and Stu G lives in these new fresh, artistic sounds, so I think we’ve struck a good balance, with singable melodies that are sonically not as predictable as something we would’ve done years ago.”
“One of the toughest jobs we had on Dwell was choosing which songs to leave off!” exclaims Stu G. “The songs we ended up with work so well together because they all come out of authentic experience and have been tried and tested in a corporate environment. What I love about Aaron is not only his desire to write new songs that serve the church, but also his desire to lead well and raise up new leaders by opening up his home and sharing his life. Dwell is about more than simply music and singing.”
Keyes, who is worship pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Snellville, GA, believes, without reservation, that the Word of God is central to worship, and this is the constant in his music that sets him apart.
“It doesn’t seem right that I can go to some of the biggest worship conferences in the world and see some of the biggest worship leaders and no one’s saying anything about the Bible,” Keyes explains. “It makes me nervous because if the Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, if we’re leading without it, we’re leading people into darkness.”
It is also the reason he and his wife, Megan, open their home to disciple young worship leaders for several months out of the year, dedicating their lives to reshaping worship leadership for the next generation.
“We want to shift what worship leading looks like,” he says, “from worship leaders simply leading songs to worship pastors leading people to knowing God better, to resting our hearts in Him, to expressing our hearts to him—physically, instinctively, fully, expressively… not just emotion, passion and excitement, but to declare the promises of God in the Bible with reverence and orthodoxy.”
Based on Psalm 91, a prayer of protection, with a bridge from Isaiah 54:17, the new album’s title track, “Dwell,” is one of the defining moments on the record, Keyes says. “Our personal worship, our willingness to abide or dwell in the shelter of the Lord, it’s so connected to God moving on our behalf, moving for us, to the Kingdom of God advancing around us.”
“It would be easier to rely on our own talent,” continues Keyes, because then you “don’t have to rely on God. You don’t actually have to listen to the voice of God or discern what He’s doing. If you’ve got your set list, your band is together and you can kill it, you can survive in most contexts of worship. But to really spend time in God’s presence, soaking in the Word of God, internalizing what it says, giving your life away, that takes a lot of time… it’s so much easier to write, record and tour than it is to lead people to know God through the hard stuff, really leading people over time.”
The full Dwell track listing follows:
- O My Soul
- I Am Not The Same
- Sovereign Over Us
- Song of Moses
- In The Name Of God
- Only Just Begun
- Sinless Savior
- Life Without My God
- Raised Me Up
- Every Knee Will Bow Down
- Hope Is Dawning
For more information on Aaron Keyes and Dwell, go to www.aaronkeyes.com.
Tracing its music heritage to 1969, Kingsway today is known as a leader in Worship Music. As the creator of Thank You Music, and later in partnership with EMI, its catalogue includes songs such as “Here I Am to Worship,” “In Christ Alone,” “Everlasting God” and “Blessed Be Your Name” to name a few.
Kingsway’s songs are sung in more than 300,000 churches worldwide accounting for over 30% of CCLI’s (Church Copyright Licensing International) bestseller list. With writers and artists like Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Delirious?, Graham Kendrick and Stuart Townend, Kingsway is dedicated to feeding the Church with songs that will change the world. As the music arm of David C Cook, a non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs, CO, a significant portion of the profits that Kingsway and David C Cook generate are used to provide discipleship and music materials free of charge to church leaders in developing parts of the world who wouldn’t be able to get them any other way.