Worship leader Tim Hughes will release his fourth, full-length studio album, Love Shine Through, April 19 from Kingsway with EMI CMG Distribution in the USA. Writer of “Here I Am To Worship,” “Beautiful One,” “Happy Day,” “Jesus Saves,” and many more modern worship anthems sung by tens of millions every week in worship services around the world, Hughes recently returned to the recording studio after a four-year hiatus. The album follows his acclaimed studio album Holding Nothing Back (2007) and live DVD/CD Happy Day (2009).
For the new album, worship leader Tim Hughes was joined by longtime collaborators and Delirious? founders Martin Smith and Stu G, each playing an integral role on the new album post their Delirious? days. Stu G co-wrote the song “Wake Up” with Hughes, and Smith not only added his voice and songwriting talents, but also revealed his gifts as a producer for the album.
“Martin and I initially connected to write a few songs together, but then chatted and dreamed together,” says worship leader Tim Hughes. “When I asked him to produce, he wasn’t sure – it was supposed to be a year where he could take time out following Delirious?, and he initially felt that he might just have input with the songs. A little later he agreed to help with the arrangements, and then – bit-by-bit – it felt right for him to produce. He seemed to really enjoy it, was hands on, and completely owned it.”
His most collaborative project ever, worship leader Tim Hughes further co-writes for Love Shine Through with Ben Cantelon, Phil Wickham, Nick Herbert, Nikki Fletcher and Keys Kraayenoord. Additional guest musicians adding their unique stamp on the album include members of Rend Collective Experiment on various instruments, Jesus Culture’s Kim Walker-Smith adding her distinct vocals, Michael Guy Chislet (Hillsong UNITED) on guitars, Josiah Sherman (The Listening) adding his keyboard work and Marc James (Vineyard, Verra Cruz) on slide guitar, background vocals. Additional backing voices on the album include: Jerry Brown, David Grant, Fay Simpson and Jesus House Gospel Choir. The album was mixed by Sam Gibson (Pearl Jam, Jesus Culture, Elvis Costello) and mastered at Abbey Road. There is also a bonus track, “At Your Name,” produced by Nathan Nockels (Brenton Brown, Chris Tomlin, Passion).
“Some of these are people I often work with at live events, so it was great to be in the studio together,” worship leader Tim Hughes explains. “Because of this we were able to be a bit more bold, to make more of an artistic album, one that captures a bit more beauty perhaps.”
“One of the comments we get back from Worship Central is that people love this sense of community,” adds Hughes, who founded Worship Central five years ago as a way to train and equip worship leaders, musicians and worshippers (www.worshipcentral.org). “People crave community, and music needs to have an element of this…I hope the resulting album [Love Shine Through] is a collection of songs that the whole church can sing, but that are honest and vulnerable as well.”
The first single from the new album, “Counting On Your Name,” written by Hughes, Herbert and Cantelon, is being serviced to radio this month. “The song captures so much of what faith comes down to; that we’re nothing without God. We try to rely on so many things – finances, health, friendship, love, sex, happiness, whatever – but none of these physical things are eternal. Only God is the one we can really depend on…I hope the song captures a sense of desperation, a rawness, a sense of it being all or nothing,” says Hughes.
Having spent the last five years helping lead Worship Central and traveling the world to resource and equip the church, worship leader Tim Hughes reflects that the modern worship movement is in a period of change. “I feel like we’re on the cusp of a fresh move with worship,” he explains. “In some ways it feels like we’ve got a bit stale, maybe we’re in danger of settling on a formula in congregational worship. There’s been a great challenge of late for pursuing excellence in production, visuals, lights and a bigger use of creativity, which I love. My only fear is that we miss the raw, messy, Spirit-led type of worship that leads people to engage with God.”
That sense of change distills into the new offering from Hughes and his band of collaborators. The album is meant to be relevant to the wider church, while simultaneously personal as it deals with real emotions alongside foundational truths like salvation, the goodness of God and the potential of the local church.
“Love Shine Through is both a prayer for change, and a statement of truth,” says worship leader Hughes. “In my walk with God and my expression of worship, I’ve been pushing myself to be more real, daring and honest. I guess these songs are an attempt to articulate that longing for more of God; that belief that He is everything and the desire that in all things His love would shine through.”