Long-time pillars in the Bethel Music community Paul and Hannah McClure are embarking on their first standalone album, The Way Home, out Aug. 30. The organic next step was announced during Bethel Music's annual WorshipU. Brian Johnson, Josh Baldwin, Seth Mosley, Matt Hammitt, Mia Fieldes and a host of others joined Paul & Hannah as co-writers in the nearly four-year pilgrimage. In finding The Way Home, the couple steeped in songwriting worked with producer David Leonard who harkened back to their Carolina roots.
"It's truth but in a palatable way," explains Hannah, who says she hopes the entire album conveys the truth of Christ while being "kind and inclusive at the same time, bringing people in" an attitude Paul and Hannah have in their songwriting and in their lives. "We want people when they're around us to feel like they can be themselves and be at home," shares Paul. "I'm realizing that songwriting and life are the same thing as far as they are a process and a journey. The songs are a snapshot of who we are, where we've been and where we come from."
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What You Need To Know: As members of the Bethel Music Collective, Paul and Hannah McClure, collectively known as The McClures, have graced our earbuds with their heartfelt worship music since 2015. If you are a regular viewer of Bethel TV, you will also be familiar with their passionate worship leading. The Way Homeis The McLures’ first full-length album and it blends their familiar acoustic driven worship with a modern country style.
What It Sounds Like:
When the first chord strikes on “Now I See,” the first song on the album, we are welcomed with a happy guitar which is quickly accompanied with an organ and a pounding kick drum. The sound is reminiscent of Irish folk music. The organ stays front and center on “Only Have One.” The sound of the organ lays a foundation on the album. It can vary between a gospel organ to a country organ sound. The steel guitar makes an appearance on songs and it all plays magnificently with Paul and Hannah’s voices.
As a worship centered album, each song walks us through a variety of emotions. Whether it’s surrender on “Believe In You” or freedom on “Gone,” with the latter even expressing the freedom found in Christ with a happy whistle. “Tender Hurricane” is a metaphor for the power found in the still small voice of God. This song allows the listener to envision something silent and invisible as something impossibly large and unfathomably loud.
Best Song On The Record:
“In my weakness you are strong, In my weakness you are beautiful, I will rest, I will rest, In the night you are my song, in the silence, you sing on and on, I will rest, I will rest…” These lines are the opening of “Holding On To You.” The range of emotions uncovered in this simple song and the truth is revealed as I listened to this song left me undone and in a new place with a new understanding of the importance of holding on to Jesus through every season of life.
The first time I was really introduced to the worship style of The McClures was when I had the pleasure of visiting Bethel Church in the summer of 2016. The honesty and simplicity of their style removed the attention from them and left the congregation to focus wholly on God. This same simplicity and honesty are woven throughout this album. The Way Home is less a typical corporate worship album and more of a personal time of prayer and reflection album and it is in these personal times where we can stop and hear the voice of God as he gently whispers to us to give us the direction we need in our lives.