Riley's long-awaited third studio album marks a season a self-discovery for Riley. After experiencing depression and burn out brought on by the pressures of being in the spotlight for so long, Riley spent the better part of a year reflecting and finding what brought her true joy. The resulting body of work follows that journey and demonstrates who she is at her core. Though no stranger to the studio, Church Pew, marks the first time Riley has stepped into the role of Executive Producer.
“It feels as though my entire life has been leading up to the creation of this record” shares Riley. “With that said, this album was born from the lowest and toughest point in my life thus far. During an ongoing battle with depression and anxiety and navigating what felt like a true identity crisis, I took a step back from music and creating to live life. I was able to pause long enough to rediscover what I loved and resonated with sonically and lyrically, as I began to allow myself the space to naturally evolve, change, and grow. Church Pew sounds and feels like my DNA. I’m ready and excited for everyone to hear this new side of my heart, artistry, and music. This chapter is going to be a special one.”
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Songs for Healing| Posted September 17, 2023 What You Need to Know 23-year-old pop artist Riley Clemmons’ self-titled debut album Riley Clemmons includes the hit singles “Broken Prayers” and “Better For It.” Riley followed that up with her hit singles “Fighting For Me,” “Over and Over,” “Healing,” and “Keep On Hoping” from her album Godsend.
With comparisons to contemporaries ranging from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato to Natalie Grant and Britt Nicole, Riley’s seemingly effortless, rich, and pure vocal tone exhibits the passion and confidence of a seasoned artist. Riley’s songwriting is real, honest, vulnerable, positive, determined, and confident.
Riley's songs are very upbeat and catchy, and she is a great role model for girls. Her songs are loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope, addressing life's pressures. Riley understands that true happiness and identity only come from her relationship with God, including her catchy new single, “Loved by You.” It is the first single from Riley's anticipated third studio album, Church Pew.
What it Sounds Like “Church Pew” is an engaging song with Riley’s passionate vocals setting the tone for this exceptional album. Over the years, Riley has produced many accessible pop and worship songs deep in meaning and content. This album is no exception. So many people can relate to this song's messages. Other standout songs include “Man Named Jesus,” “Loved by You,” “Fear Not,” “Jesus Cries,” and “Miracle.”
These songs beautifully describe our identity as His sons and daughters through poetic biblical language that showcases our dependence on Him. “Man Named Jesus” and “Fear Not” each feature a country/rock-tinged vibe and standout power anthems that excite me about my faith.
The production of these ultra-catchy pop songs could easily be featured on mainstream music radio. The album showcases Riley’s gifts as a songwriter and her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. Church Pew is loaded with positive, grace-filled messages of hope. Her songs address the pressures of life, and she understands that her identity only comes from her relationship with God.
Spiritual Highlights Riley has consistently impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. This shows in her music. "Loved by You" is inspired by the themes and biblical messages in 1 John 4:18-19. It echoes the idea of our identity in Christ, as presented in various Bible passages. Listening to this song repeatedly helps to reinforce the comforting message of the Bible that assures us of God's love for us and reminds us that we are only capable of loving because He loved us first. With every listen, this truth sinks deeper into our hearts and brings us a sense of peace.
The message of “Church Pew,” which sings, “We all come for different reasons/But Lord knows we all need Jesus/And He's always saving room for me and you/Right here in this church pew,” is based on several biblical truths, including Lamentations 3:22-23 and Romans 8:28.
The comfort and rest Jesus offers are beautifully captured in “Miracle.” Riley beautifully depicts the message of identity that we all need to hear, “My words can't explain it/But my heart knows it's real/'Cause my broken pieces/Have started to heal/Like truth for a doubter/Like sight for the blind/Your love shows me power/From something divine.”
Best Song “Loved by You” is an upbeat, empowering anthem to sing over ourselves and against fear, worry, and anxiety. Riley sets the tone with the opening lyrics, “Sometimes I feel/Like I’m alone/A bit too broken/Unseen, unknown/Sometimes the doubt/Starts creeping in/So come remind me/Once again.” Musically, the song builds to match the intensity of the lyrics. This song is an excellent companion to sing over your life. The moving musical bed of “Church Pew” takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly sing along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. “Miracle” is another standout ballad.
My favorite song on the album is “Man Named Jesus." I’m deeply moved by the lyrics, “Something Holy must have happened when I met a Man named Jesus, ‘Cause I’ve never been the same.” After three tumultuous years of COVID-19, this song offers hope for healing through the power of prayer as God's children.
Final Word I love Riley's intentionality and focus on God's provision in her life. She is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big, memorable, dynamic, yet intimate voice. These songs have biblically-based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. The emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics in these sacred songs engage me. Riley’s vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus.
Several personal songs melt my heart, especially “Church Pew,” “Man Named Jesus,” “Loved by You,” “Lifting Me Up” and “Miracle.” If you like female singers who make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, Church Pew is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a solid, upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages, a great alternative to mainstream pop artists. This is easily one of my top pop albums of the year, filled with songs for healing.