Album Spotlight: Lauren Daigle Unveils Side A of Her Most Authentic Collection Yet

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2023 by Lindsay Williams

K-LOVE Album Spotlight: Lauren Daigle

To know me, you would have to know my friend.” That’s a seminal line from a song (“To Know Me”) on Lauren Daigle’s new self-titled release. It feels like something of a thematic dispatch for the 10-track record, a swirl of color and sound. To know Daigle is to know her music. To know her music is to know the hope that anchors her soul. And while her lyrics attract a broad, diverse listenership, “Lauren Daigle” affirms where the singer’s allegiance will always lie.

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A double album, her third studio effort is slated to roll out in two acts. While the second set of 10 songs will bow later this year, the first 10 find the songstress doubling down on the soulful components she first unearthed on 2018’s Platinum-certified “Look Up Child” with hints of the jazzy undertones that flavored her first Christmas collection, “Behold.” Eight years past her debut, however, “Lauren Daigle” feels leaps and bounds beyond “How Can It Be,” where the green newcomer was just skimming the surface of her God-given gifts.

“I found my voice musically and sonically. I feel like I really did finally find elements of myself that I had been missing,” Daigle says of her latest project. “I was so new when I came into the industry. There was a lot that I had to learn in front of people — it happened fast.”

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Time, experience and growth has led to Daigle’s most mature offering yet — a musical capsule that’s as unique, outlandish and whimsical as the singer herself. In fact, “Lauren Daigle” seems like a rebirth in many ways. Lyrically, the eight-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner leaned into the art of storytelling for selections like the romanticized “Saint Ferdinand,” steeped in old-world charm; and the funky celebration of humanity on “Kaleidoscope Jesus,” which helped name her upcoming fall tour.

Among the select new collaborators Daigle worked with to craft her fresh LP, prolific songwriters Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna, as well as London-based songwriter Jon Green, were instrumental in helping Daigle develop deeper, richer stories. All three are widely known in country circles for songs they’ve written recorded by Little Big Town, Lady A, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, among other well-known acts. Meanwhile, Daigle also wrote with some of pop music’s most seasoned lyricists, including Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello) and Mike Elizondo, who’s worked with everyone from Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5 to Switchfoot and Carrie Underwood. Most recently, he co-produced music for “Encanto” alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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Throughout the creative process, Elizondo became Daigle’s most-trusted confidant for both halves of her self-titled masterpiece, helping her capture the essence of who she is on a two-part opus that’s New Orleans meets Nashville, soul meets spirit. Daigle says this is the album of her dreams and credits Elizondo with helping her craft a record that simultaneously bottles her open heart and vibrant personality. Drawing inspiration from classic artists like Stevie Wonder and Minnie Riperton, the two-time GRAMMY® winner discovered her authentic sweet spot, which happens to be an eclectic amalgamation of the bright hues and textures that defined her formative years.

An explosion of color, “Lauren Daigle” holds fast to the brass and blues of her Louisiana upbringing on retro-tinged advance tracks like “Waiting” and “New.” Album closer “These Are The Days” — which takes a subtle page from the final chapter of the Bible — exudes the same level of contagious joy. Meanwhile, meaningful ballads like the poignant “Valuable” and the humble “Ego” share explicit messages of self-worth and identity.

Elsewhere, the disarming truth of “Don’t Believe Them” unites with deeply convicting lyrics. “How you gonna love someone if you don’t forgive them? How you gonna hear what they say if you never listen?” Daigle asks on the selection she penned with Hemby. “How you gonna stand up if the world wants you kneelin’? How you gonna live out the words you’re preachin’ if you don’t believe them?”

While lead single “Thank God I Do” is a comfortable follow-up to game-changing chart-topper “You Say,” it’s only a taste of what listeners will enjoy on part one of the highly anticipated release. Daigle penned the piano-led, string-laden ballad in 45 minutes when she reunited with frequent collaborator Jason Ingram for the first time since they wrote “You Say.” The instant classic leads the way into a record that’s as nostalgic as it is versatile and as deep as it is wide.

“Lauren Daigle” is a statement record, and the well of creativity tapped here will undoubtedly set the bar for all of her future artistic endeavors.

“One of the great things about getting to make records five years apart is that you get to explore new musical spaces. You get to explore what makes you come alive for this season of life. And this isn’t what was making me come alive five years ago, but it’s making me come alive now,” Daigle reflects. “I get to express that onto a record, and I think that’s really special — to allow music to keep recreating you.”

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