Milk & Honey
Before Crowder had an album ready, the contemporary Christian singer-songwriter had a title: Milk & Honey. Inspired by living through the events of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest of 2020, Crowder found himself pondering the optimism inherent within the biblical origin of the phrase, which refers to the Promised Land in the book of Exodus—“a land flowing with milk and honey.” That line of thought led Crowder to write a collection of songs primarily grounded in faith-based positivity, one that he hoped would foster a sense of community and connectedness in his listeners, both through hopeful lyrics (“Milk & Honey,” “Hallelujah for Every Broken Heart”) and prominent choral vocals. “The whole album, I wanted choral stuff on it,” Crowder tells Apple Music. “I think that's just because we were separated from each other [during the pandemic]. It's the idea of togetherness. I think we're made for community and relationships.” Below, Crowder walks us through several of Milk & Honey’s key tracks.
“Good God Almighty” “In the middle of something pretty traumatic, we're still going to claim this, that God is still God. God is still good and he's in control. So there's a lot of trepidation, to me, in the song. It sounds like a fun song. But the lyrics are like, ‘Hey, no matter what comes, I'm still going to make this statement.’”
“Milk & Honey” “A friend of mine early on sent me a link to Neil deGrasse Tyson on the [Joe] Rogan show. And he was talking about milk and honey. To me, when I knew I was wanting to title this record Milk & Honey, I was most curious how it would connect with people outside of any sort of church context—that's a phrase that would mean something to people who've read the Torah, but maybe not someone that's outside of a Christian culture. And he says that they're basically the only things you can eat that don't involve death. That all animal and plant products die for us to eat their leaves or their flesh. But milk and honey, nothing dies. To me that was like, ‘Ah, that's even more beautiful than I thought.’ It's like you're headed somewhere where there's life and just more life. So I was trying to find a lot of images or word pictures that let us understand, like, what could it be like to have love blooming where hate used to grow.”
“Higher Power” (feat. Hulvey) “I love the collaborative thing. There's a number of them on this album. But since I moved to Atlanta—I've been in Atlanta for about eight years—I've gotten to be good friends with the Reach Records, 116 crew, with Lecrae and the gang, especially this guy that runs their studio space, Jacob Morris. He goes by Biz and he helped me design the studio that's at my house. Since Biz had been over at the house all the time, he kept talking about this new guy that they had signed at Reach, this Hulvey guy. This dude, you just put a microphone in front of him and it's just gold.”
“God Really Loves Us” (feat. Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music) “I think it might be my favorite moment on the whole album. And maybe it's because it’s the last thing we did, but I think it could be really special. And we'll see how it connects with people once it's out the door, but it sure felt special. My favorite writes are the ones that you feel the least responsible for. You walk away and go, ‘I don't even know how that got done or where that came from.’”
“Hallelujah for Every Broken Heart” “I'm a huge NEEDTOBREATHE fan, and it's the first time I've gotten to write with Bear [Rinehart], who's the singer for NEEDTOBREATHE. And all of a sudden he starts sending me songs; he would call them hymns. And I'm telling you, I was in heaven. He sent me this one and immediately, with the moment that we were in, it felt super timely.”
“The Anchor” “Tommee Profitt is a Nashville guy that I had written with a bunch on my last project. I had gone to him for beats and tracks on the last project, so I hollered at him early on for this one. I had known that I was wanting to do a song called ‘Anchor’ and had some of the ideas and content already pinned. I'm like, ‘I think we might be almost done with this. I think that this is supposed to just be such a sparse end. And I think this is the last track on the album and all we need is...’ And he goes, ‘Let me guess, a choir.’ Like, ‘Yes, we need a choir and then we're good.’”