We had the opportunity to have a conversation with Zach and Adam from Citizens. We covered so many great topics that we can’t wait for you to hear but for this post we’ll talk about their latest project, “Repeat the Sounding Joy.” Be sure to check out our review of the album here.
TCC: Tell us about the desire to put out a Christmas Album.
Zach: Every year we are writing arrangements of Christmas carols and hymns at our church. I remember sitting in my car years ago listening to “O Holy Night” on the radio from someone who I’m pretty sure doesn’t know God. I was thinking “This is crazy, they’re singing about Jesus and there are people listening to this who are hearing about Jesus.” Joy to the World speaks of the coming of Christ, Jesus leaving his throne and entering humanity. Why not arrange those songs in a different way?
I’ve never heard people clap while singing Joy to the World. I hope that lots of people will hear these arrangements in a way that they never have before and it will cause them to think more about what’s actually being sung there. I’m excited to see what God will do. Making a Christmas record is the biggest evangelism opportunity we have. A worship album is a worship album but so many more people will pick up a Christmas album as just a Christmas album. They’ll hear that it’s much more than that; it’s the telling of the greatest news on earth.
TCC: You can hear your heart for Jesus throughout this EP. It’s much more than just Christmas music, it’s really worship. How do you see this album helping worship leaders as they are preparing their services?
Zach: There are thousands of worship leaders in the world. We have a captive audience every weekend. A lot of people come to church around Christmas who don’t know Jesus. We’re hoping that our arrangements will revitalize the way these Christmas songs are done in the church. I think it’s awesome when we hear about people doing their own take on our arrangements. I hope that people will come together and throw a party for Jesus with this music. We all know the story of Jesus but there are people coming to our church that have never heard the story! They’re not thinking about Jesus being God and, for instance, being involved in creation in Genesis 1 because they haven’t been coming to church and hearing sermons every week. So here’s a song that speaks to this truth. People will listen to these songs over and over and realize these truths.
Adam: It would be awesome if this EP opened worship leaders’ minds to creating new arrangements of older songs. I hope they really arrange music to work with their own congregation. There are hundreds of versions of Joy to the World. Our version was a cool take on it, I hope there are fifty more next year!