Hope Darst, a wife and a mother to two daughters, regularly leads worship at the Nashville-based church The Belonging Co.
"I'm blown away thinking about this right now," said Darst of releasing her debut album. "I dreamed of being an artist for the first 25 years of my life and then laid that dream aside to pursue what God had called me to do--raise a family and serve the local church. I never imagined that so many years later, God would lead me back to my first dream of writing and releasing music as an artist."
Peace Be Still was produced by Jonathan Smith (Zach Williams, Phil Wickham, Passion) and Max Corwin. Featuring twelve songs all co-written by Darst, Peace Be Still is also the name of the album's first single, which Darst wrote in 2017 with Mia Fieldes and Andrew Holt, fellow worship leaders and songwriters at her church. The worship anthem, inspired by the trio's collective desire to overcome disappointment and fear, soon became an anthem of hope for their congregation, while churches around the globe also began to embrace its truth as their own.
While writing for the album, Darst openly shares, "I didn't know how to write songs as an artist. I learned how to write songs as a believer and a worship leader, so I only know how to write about what I'm walking through and actually experiencing. The songs that I feel are the most honest and that people have really resonated with have all been birthed out of actual things I've walked through in my own life. As a worship leader, I'm not just telling a story - I'm telling my story through the lens of the redemption of Jesus in every single one of those moments. My story just doesn't sit on the broken side of it, it actually tips over to where Jesus met me and is the Savior in every one of those moments. At the end of the day, I just want these songs to lead people back to Jesus, or to Jesus for the first time."
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Trust the voice that speaks| Posted August 19, 2020 What You Need to Know Following up on her stellar debut single, “Peace Be Still,” singer Hope Darst has released an excellent debut album, featuring an empowering theme of the Lord reigning in our hearts. We're called to “start over again” as referenced in the moving closing track which also declares the thesis statement of the album, “you don’t have to be afraid.” The album gives listeners words to “sing my way through” trials with declarations like, "You are a promise keeper/Your word will never fail/My heart can trust You, Jesus/I won't be overwhelmed."
What it Sounds Like Peace Be Still is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an ethereal tone. If you enjoy Where His Light Was by Kristene DiMarco, House on a Hill by Amanda Lindsey Cook and Forever Amen by Steffany Gretzinger, this album is an excellent addition to your praise and worship collection.
Spiritual Highlights Hope has impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. Hope and I have spoken for a Behind the Song devotional about “Peace Be Still” from this album. Hope co-wrote the song with songwriters Mia Fieldes and Andrew Holt. It's based on many scriptures where the Lord tells us, “Do not be afraid,” and comes right from Mark 4:39 (NIV): “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song. Each song is about proclaiming her dependence on God throughout this incredible worship experience, which stirs my heart, mind, and soul to bow before Jesus, our Savior. The album is designed to be listened to in track order as you’ll go on the journey with Hope from “Set Free” with the confession-“I’ve been washed clean/You call me whole, saved and redeemed/I’ve been set free,” to the closer “Start Over” with the declaration, ”Let it all come to an end/We can start over again/You’re not broken/There’s just things I want to mend/We can start over again.”
Best Song on the Record I can’t get enough of “Peace Be Still.” It sets the tone for the entire worship experience with the beautiful declaration of dependence in the chorus of God’s provision in our lives: “I don't want to fear the storm/Peace be still/Say the word and I will set my feet upon the sea.” I get swept up in the vertical praise and worship to our Savior. I am moved by the reminders that we don’t have to be afraid and once we are redeemed by Jesus we can declare, “Even when my eyes can’t see/I will trust the Voice that speaks.”
Final Word Peace Be Still is about proclaiming the majesty of God and crying out in awe and wonder for His presence. Each song is memorable, personal, and worshipful. These moving and reverent recordings are prayers and personal confessions of submission to God. They are poignant songs of adoration. Every song is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. Hope’s powerful and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings. She invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. The standout songs each feature an engaging and emotive musical style while phrasing her prayer-filled songs in a creative and personal way, making it one of my top worship albums of the year.