Radio favorite JJ Heller is set to release her fourth CD in a most unique way.
Deeper, the seasoned songwriter’s acoustic project, was initially set to release on Thanksgiving of 2009, but when JJ’s song “Your Hands“ found a life of its own on radio after showing up on the hit show So You Think You Can Dance?, the difficult decision was made to delay the release of the acoustic album.
Several of the songs from Deeper were re-tracked in a more polished style and became a part of JJ’s acclaimed CD When I’m With You, which appeared on many Best of 2010 lists, including the song “What Love Really Means“ topping Amazon.com’s list of Best Christian Songs of 2010.
Now, on October 11, 2011, Deeper will finally be released, with five acoustic versions of songs from When I’m With You, four unreleased tracks from the original 2009 recording sessions, and three brand new songs that were recorded in May of this year. With a focus on JJ’s vocals, Deeper continues JJ’s trademark ability to be transparent and honest with her soft voice and introspective lyrics. She has a knack for embracing the simple moments of every day life.
“Deeper is a really special and intimate project,” Heller says. “As the title implies, it’s a record about the extremes of life’s emotions and experiences. I share deeply personal songs exploring the tragedies in my life and in the lives of friends, vulnerable and honest love songs, and a few songs of encouragement. It’s really a picture of this season of my life.”
The album begins with a beautiful picture of the love of an expectant mother for her unborn child called “I Get To Be The One.” JJ’s second baby girl (named Nora), due in September 2011, was the inspiration for the touching composition. “Since the title track of When I’m With You was written to my daughter Lucy,” JJ says, “I wanted to make sure that Nora had a song too!”
Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay), a frequent collaborator with JJ, produced, mixed and engineered Deeper at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, TN. Additional instrumentation was added by a talented cast of studio musicians familiar with JJ’s music from several previous records: electric guitars by Andrew Osenga (Caedmon’s Call), keys by Ben Shive (Andrew Peterson), drums and percussion by Paul Ekberg, and acoustic guitars and background vocals by JJ’s husband David Heller.
JJ is known as a road-warrior, and this project is no different. Just over a month after the birth of her new child, JJ and her family will hit the road, kicking off a six-week tour with special guest Matt Brouwer.
“Playing music live is such a vital part of our ministry,” JJ says, “but we knew that with a growing family we needed to change up our touring model. In the past, Dave and I spent a lot of time flying out of town for a weekend, while leaving Lucy with family. It was really hard on me, but it was our best option at the time. This fall marks our first tour on our own bus, and I’m looking forward to having the girls on the road with us. It’s a huge step of faith to make an investment of this size, but we know that if the Lord wants our family to stay on the road that he’ll provide the means for us to do so.”
JJ Heller – Deeper, releasing to retail stores and digital outlets October 11, 2011 through New Day Distribution.