BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#526 - "You Will Remain" by All Sons and Daughters
David Leonard and Leslie Jordan give some insight into the creative process of their latest worship offering.
 


All Sons & Daughters' entire self-titled project, released May 6, feels seamless and intentional. The album includes standout recordings like the hauntingly accessible "Christ Be All around Me" and "You Will Remain," as well as the lose yourself-in-the-moment singability of "God with Us," "Tonight" and "Great Are You Lord."

From my first listen, I was totally captivated by the album. The opening track "You Will Remain" has an ambient sound built with strings, drum and guitar in a steady worshipful flow, beautifully setting the tone with Leslie's distinctive and emotive vocals.

I had the great opportunity to speak with David Leonard and Leslie Jordan about the song.

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Leslie: The song originated from a melody shared by a local guitar shop owner in Franklin Tennessee. David told me that he had this great guitar line and maybe that's where we could start. I was also in the Psalms, and I read "You will remain." We liked how "You oh Lord will remain" fit that guitar part. It turned into a song about the steadfastness of God. The song melody led us to the Gospel of John where Jesus refers to Himself as 'I AM.' We were struck by the truth of it. He didn't say 'I was' or 'I will be,' but 'I AM.' And He wasn't overstating anything... the constant, unfailing nature of God and His goodness. We never tire of leading this one.

David: It was the first song written for the record. We had taken a long break from writing, and we decided to write one day and then this song birthed out of a beautiful place. We were so ready to create again, and it felt right from the start. We went to the room where we first started writing songs and this one poured out.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Psalm 102:26 (The Voice): But while they will someday pass away, You remain forever; when they wear out like old clothes, You will roll them up and change them into something new, and they will pass away.

John 6:35 (NKJV): And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

John 8:12 (NKJV): Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

John 8:58 (NKJV): Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

John 10:9 (NKJV): I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:11 (NKJV): "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."

John 11:25 (NKJV): Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 14:6 (NKJV): Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 15:1 (NKJV): "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser."

What is the takeaway message of the song and album?

David: The first thing our producer Paul Mabury had us do before we recorded for the album was play "For Your Glory and My Good" acoustically. We played that for the guys and he said, "Listen to the song. The nuances and vibe of this song needs to vibrate through the entire record." The record was based musically and sonically around that song.

That allowed us to run wild in the field musically and lean more towards our musical wants than maybe we allowed ourselves in the past. We left recording and felt like that it captured everything we set out to do. The way it started is how it ended up.

Leslie: We were just talking about "Great Are You Lord" and the irony that God pours out His breath to us and then receives that same breath back from us in worship. I think that's essentially the truth and goodness that He gives to us, and in turn He receives it as an offering of worship and a submission from His children. That's really powerful, and it is such a symbol of the humility of God that He would not only pour out but receive back something as simple as our breath and our praise.

We've created songs and albums from the perspective of "what is this representative of? Is it of David and Leslie? Is it of the Church? Is it of Scripture?" There are nuances of all of those things, but we hope it is a representation of Truth and Who we know God to be. You'll hear throughout the whole album and especially this song the theme of God's eternal love. That's thematic through a lot of the songs. We've experienced it over the years in the changes we've seen in our church and our band. God's goodness and love are so constant.

Lyrics:

You oh Lord are my strength
Humbly came my soul to save
Light the way oh 

All I have is found in You
Christ in me all things true
All things pure all things good
You are the Great I AM

So Unchanging Your promise is sure
Never ending Your love will endure
You were, You will be, You always are
The Great I AM

You oh Lord will remain
When everything else fades away
You oh Lord will remain

So Unchanging Your promise is sure
Never ending Your love will endure
You were, You will be, You always are
The Great I AM

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Your love never fails
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Your love never fails

So Unchanging Your promise is sure
Never ending Your love will endure
You were, You will be, You always are
The Great I AM

Oh the Great I AM

More than just a collection of great songs, this album is a deep, meaningful worship experience unlike any other I've heard this year. If you feel like many worship albums sound the same and you want to experience a fresh, deep, introspective and completely worshipful album, look no further than this project. The standout songs are "You Will Remain," "Tonight," "God with Us," "Christ Be All around Me," "The Victory," "King of Glory," "Almighty God" and "Great Are You Lord."

This is a very emotional album, loaded with hook-filled vertical expressions with catchy melodies wrapped around introspective, worshipful and emotional lyrics. My favorite albums grow deeper with each listen. All Sons & Daughters is easily the worship album of the year.

When we feel like we are on shaky ground and we are dealing with the uncertainty of our situations, the economy and our world, "You Will Remain" allows us to dwell on the unshakable nature of God. When all else fades away, He will remain. All of the band's songs have spoken to me on a spiritual level, sinking from my head to my heart. This song invites us to proclaim back to Jesus what He said about Himself and sing out loudly to God "You were, You will be, You always are the Great I AM." Amen to that!

(Watch the lyric video here.)

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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