Joy In The Morning

Tauren Wells

Joy In The Morning

Tauren Wells knew his third studio album needed to evoke hope and positivity, as the celebrated faith-based artist wrote and recorded much of its material during the darker days of the COVID-19 pandemic. He landed on Joy in the Morning, which nods both to Scripture and to his own belief that good things come from dark times. “I think there have been times where faith-inspired music has led and I think there’s been times when it’s fallen behind,” Wells tells Apple Music. “I get to be a part of a new generation of artists that really care about the art, but also still really care about the heart. So, that’s kind of my overall theme of this whole album—trying to make music with a conscience, something with some heart and soul that’s not disposable but can last a lifetime.” While positivity abounds on the LP, Wells also acknowledges that even those grounded in faith may still be struggling, as explored on fan favorite “Empty.” Standout “Come Home” finds Wells unflinchingly confronting what he describes to Apple Music as “atrocious things that have happened in the name of God,” plainly naming the hypocrisy that can occur within organized religion on a track that sonically recalls The Weeknd or Bruno Mars. An ambitious, dynamic LP, Joy in the Morning sounds like little else in faith-based music. Below, Wells shares insight into several key tracks. “Fake It” “We had gotten together—myself, Emily Weisband, and Chris Stevens, who produced it—and we were talking about the pandemic and all of that. It was my first writing session in the room with human beings after everything had shut down. And it was a little melancholy because we collectively experienced quite a trauma, and you could kind of feel the residue still. And Chris was like, ‘Well, I’ve got something that’s kind of a vibe here. We can do something else if we want.’ But as soon as he hit play and he had the skeleton of ‘Fake It,’ it really lifted our spirit in the room.” “Come Home” “‘Come Home’ is a movie to me. It’s such an important song. It’s interesting because I grew up in church, and there are so many people who grew up with some type of religious faith experience. Being a part of the faith community—there have been atrocious things that have happened in the name of God, in the name of faith and spirituality. And I just felt like it was time for me, as a part of that community, to speak to the shortcomings.” “Empty” “I was trying to paint the picture here that I was having a moment that was surreal, where it seemed like I was surrounded by more than I could ever ask or imagine. And I went over to the piano, and I thought this would be a great moment to write a song out of the overflow of all of this goodness. And the first thing that came out over these melancholy chords was, ‘You could have it all and still feel empty.’ And I think that’s the beautiful thing about songwriting—it allows you to go a few levels deeper with yourself beyond the surface emotions of the moment to see what’s really happening.” “Joy in the Morning” “It’s my hope to inspire, and that title is just so inspiring to me. It evokes a hope and a belief that, no matter what dark days we may find ourselves living through, that there is joy that comes in the morning, that now is not forever. And a lot of times, we use what we’re experiencing right now to frame how we feel like forever is going to play out. ‘If I’m heartbroken now, I’ll be heartbroken forever.’ We start to think that we’re always going to carry these problems with us. And the idea of ‘Joy in the Morning’ points to the fact that all of our problems have an expiration date. That no matter what we’re facing or experiencing right now, it will pass. It will not last forever.” “Has to Be God” “If there is a moment on the album that’s just very clearly a song of gratitude, then that’s it. What I experience with my wife, with my boys, with friendships that I have, when I take inventory of my life, there’s no other explanation than something higher, greater, stronger, better than me.”

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