Album Spotlight: Lauren Daigle Completes Ambitious 23-Track Self-Titled Studio Album

Posted on Friday, September 8, 2023 by Lindsay Williams

Lauren Daigle Album Spotlight

In May, Lauren Daigle dropped the beginnings of what would become her third full-length studio album. The initial 10 tracks included “Thank God I Do,” which soared to the top of five different Christian charts; and “These Are The Days,” Daigle’s next radio single. Met with critical acclaim, chapter one of her self-titled record was never intended to be the full story. It simply gave avid fans a taste of what was to come.

Now, four months following the release of Side A, Daigle is completing the project with an additional 10 selections and three brief musical interludes, which, when combined with the original set, comprise a 23-song double album.

“These 23 tracks represent all that I am — they embody my soul and my spirit,” Daigle enthuses of the full collection. “I can’t wait for you all to hear them.”

The ballad-heavy back half begins with “Salvation Mountain,” which features guitar virtuoso Gary Clark, Jr. The soulful selection was written over the course of a road trip with co-writer Jonas Myrin to the eccentric landmark in the California desert. While the bluesy “Salvation Mountain” was inspired by the West Coast, numerous cuts on “Lauren Daigle” were brought to life during a trip to the singer’s native Louisiana, giving her co-writers a chance to immerse themselves in Daigle’s colorful world.

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This was where album gem “Love Me Still” was born. Jason Ingram, with whom Daigle wrote “You Say” and “Thank God I Do,” was out walking the streets of her hometown one day when he noticed the words “Love Me Still” spelled out in red graffiti. The phrase sparked the intimate track the pair later co-penned with Steven Furtick that showcases Daigle’s unmistakeable vocal against the backdrop of a singular harp. The power of “Love Me Still” lies in both Daigle’s lump-in-your-throat delivery and the stop-you-in-your-tracks lyrics. “When I’m at my worst, when I’m at my best, You couldn’t love me more. You’ll never love me less,” she sings. “You love me still. You always will. Nothing can change it.”

Dedicated to Daigle’s family, “Inherited” is an equally poignant standout. The songstress traces the laugh lines that crease her face, the way she engages strangers and the worries that keep her up at night back through her beautiful lineage of loved ones. The timeless track reveals deeply ingrained habits learned from significant people in her life, like her grandmother, a librarian who notoriously turned down pages to save her place in her favorite books — a trait Daigle frequently finds herself mimicking.

Elsewhere, the simple yet profound, “Be Okay” is just as personal, but in a different way. En route to write with Daigle in Newport Beach, singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb received a message from a little girl who was terminally ill. When Holcomb arrived at the oceanfront studio, she shared the story with Daigle, and together, the two women attempted to pen a letter of hope for the young fan. A horn section carries it home, joining the tender piano that winds its way through the rest of the eternally significant song.

A trio of artsy interludes are peppered throughout the final 10 selections, as are a few additional upbeat offerings, including the tumultuous “Turbulent Skies,” whose sonic palette mirrors the upheaval of the lyrics. The lengthy album concludes with another Cajun-inflected track, textured with brass. Crafted with members of her touring band, the sentimental “You’re All I’ll Take With Me” is written from the perspective of her grandmother as she reflects on life without her late husband, Daigle’s grandfather.

While the second installment of the self-titled effort is filled with moments of straightforward faith, as well as insightful revelations on who Daigle is and where she comes from, the final tracklisting also features a few songs centered on romantic love. Rather than sappy odes to finding “the one,” however, the love songs Daigle unwraps here contain more questions than answers as if the 32-year-old wrestles with all of the confusion and uncertainty that often accompanies matters of the heart. “How far do you go when you look for love?” she asks on the wistful “21 Days,” which incidentally quietly features background vocals from Justin Timberlake.

Regardless of the subject matter, Daigle’s gritty voice is the glue that holds the entire collection together. More than any of her previous material, this batch of songs is story-centric, thanks in part to the incredible lyricists she assembled for the project, including Ingram, Holcomb, Natalie Hemby, Jon Green, Lori McKenna, Amy Wadge and Mike Elizondo, who oversaw production for the entire record and was instrumental in helping Daigle discover new depths of her artistry throughout the creative process. These collaborators stretched Daigle, who has evolved into as prolific of a lyricist as she is a vocalist. On “Lauren Daigle,” her growth as both a writer and an artist is evident across what is arguably her most mature release to date. Daigle will simply tell you this is the album that feels the most like her. If this is the case, then the two-time GRAMMY® winner is obviously a product of her upbringing — the people, the places and the faith that shaped her.

Just as she previewed the LP’s first half during exclusive album events leading up to its release, the nine-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner gave industry VIPs and select fans the first listen to the second half at a one-of-a-kind concert at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Cafe. Together with many of the writers represented across the album credits, Daigle performed an acoustic set where she sang these latest songs live for the first time. She’ll give many of the 23 tracks on “Lauren Daigle” the full band treatment on her arena-ready “Kaleidoscope Tour” this fall.

Album SpotlightLauren DaigleMusicNew Music

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