Singer, songwriter and 2020 "New Artist of the Year" GMA Dove Award-nominated Chris Renzema releases "Mercy" today (Sept. 18). The never-before-released song was recorded live in the studio and will be featured on the Let The Ground Rest -- B-Sides EP set to launch Jan. 8, 2021. Each B-Sides track is thematically connected to Renzema's sophomore LP and Centricity Music debut, Let The Ground Rest, which launched to wide critical and fan acclaim April 24 followed by tens of millions of downloads and streams.
"At a time in political and cultural history when The rejects, the drop outs / Those used to being passed by / The addicts, the burned out / Who've lost their way so many times seemed to get the short end of the stick, Nashville's Chris Renzema opens his outstretched arms and welcomes those people in, as the lyrics to his new single 'Mercy' proclaim," notes American Songwriter, who premiered the song this week, calling it a "gorgeous acoustic elegy" and relating Renzema's "unassuming nature" to that "of a Heartland Ed Sheeran or a countrified David Gray."
"Mercy" was written during a difficult season for Renzema that was fraught with so much anxiety and depression that it nearly left him paralyzed.
"I didn't have a lot of direction or aim, and I felt kind of just out to sea," confesses Renzema. "There were a lot of days where I would sleep through the morning after staying up really late. My schedule was just a mess. When I read that verse that says His mercies are new every morning, I remember thinking, well, I just slept through my whole morning.
"The chorus of 'Mercy' comes from a place where the semantics are not really what matters in the declaration from the Lord," continues Renzema, analyzing Lamentations 3:23. "It's the fact that His mercy is constantly finding us even if your morning is 1:00 pm or 6:00 am after being up all night with an anxiety attack."
Cause His mercy's new with the morning
Even when you can't sleep at night
And if you're too anxious to notice
He'll hold your hand while you cry
("Mercy" chorus lyrics)
Like the B-Sides EP, the heartbeat behind the whole Let The Ground Rest LP "is the idea that growth comes from periods of rest, of barrenness," shares Renzema. "It's a process to exist, to learn and understand God's love. While His love is not seasonal, we go through seasons as we understand and experience it."
Logging more than 8.75 million streams across multiple platforms in its first week at retail and streaming outlets, Let The Ground Rest caused Jesusfreakhideout.com to label Renzema "one of the best-kept secrets of the independent music scene" while NewReleaseToday.com says the recording "speaks to hope" in this season the world is in. In between the opening and closing tracks, Renzema shares real-life, hopeful messages along with worship in singles like "17" and "Better." The latter song was written "as a sort of 'get well soon' card to the world, having no idea I'd be releasing it during a worldwide pandemic."