Singer, songwriter and Dove Award-nominated Chris Renzema releases Let The Ground Rest -- B-Sides today (Jan. 8, 2021) at digital and streaming outlets internationally. The EP features five live studio performances, including three versions of songs from Renzema's widely acclaimed sophomore LP and Centricity Music debut, Let The Ground Rest, along with two new songs thematically connected to the album: "Tear My House Down" and the American Songwriter-featured single "Mercy."
The new Let The Ground Rest versions on B-Sides include the title track, "God Is Love," and the Air1 Radio Network-featured "Springtime." Each of these songs were also captured on video for The Smoakstack Sessions video documentary, which was premiere-streamed this week on YouTube.
With B-Sides recorded in the famed Nashville studio The Smoakstack and produced by five-time GRAMMY-nominated Paul Moak, the new music is a window into how the songs were formed while on tour.
"The first couple projects that I did were recorded in various studios around Nashville and piecemealed together," reflects Renzema. "What's cool about working out of The Smoakstack is that we got to play together as a band. Making music as a group feels less mechanical and more human," something that was especially fulfilling for the artist this year.
"2020 has been really hard," states Renzema. "I think it has been a journey for me as a writer and a person, discovering what it even means to be content, what it means to let your plans change.
"A lot of what I wrote for the last project has taken on new meaning in the pandemic," continues Renzema, "and singing about waiting on a season to change or sitting it out through a hard time means a lot more to me now that it did then."
Like the Let The Ground Rest LP that has received more than 90 million streams since its April 24 release, the heart behind the B-Sides EP is the idea that growth comes from periods of rest, of barrenness.
"It's really easy to think that God is in the growth, but that He's not in the empty field. It's an unfortunate thing that we tie together the barren field as somehow a sign of a lack of favor or of God's presence, but things need to rest in order to grow," shares Renzema. "You can be upset that your plans got destroyed or you can find a new way forward."
Receiving a 2020 Dove Award nomination for "New Artist of the Year," Renzema is continuing to offer new music to his growing base of fans worldwide. 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."