For the soul that aches for worship beyond pop radio hits, Doxa Theo has the answer.
Their debut album, Future Glory, features the rich, lyrical depth of classic hymns with a fresh, artistic twist.
Future Glory—available on Spotify and iTunes as of Friday, May 20—moves past the typical chorus, two verses and a bridge. Instead, singer-guitarist Will Retherford says classic hymns inspired the project's liturgical and meditative approach to modern worship.
"As I was starting to do some songwriting for the album, I found myself singing old hymns," says Retherford, who has been a worship leader for 10 years. "And I had a book called The Valley of Vision, which I would read, and it's basically a book of Puritan prayers, and there's a lot of old, good, rich content."
But it was more than old hymns and books that captivated Retherford—it was the gospel.
"I've been really taken aback by the gospel message a lot more in the past couple years—the idea of Christ becoming man, dying for us and giving us grace, peace and love and leading us back to Him," Retherford says.
That life-transforming gospel message brought Doxa Theo together. Brandon Berg, a drummer and singer for the album, met Retherford a couple years ago in Charlotte. Berg played a couple times with Retherford on his church's worship team.
The two men worshipped together more often, and other musicians and worship leaders joined in. That's when Retherford hatched the idea for Doxa Theo.
The group faced challenges, though, as band members came from all different directions—musically and geographically. Yet they were in agreement on certain things. The group agreed they wanted a "reverb, airy sound" and frequent open space.
"There are a lot of albums where the song just starts and finishes, but we really wanted to give the songs a lot of space," Retherford says. Most songs on Future Glory are at least five minutes long instead of the standard 3 ½ minutes.
The open space gives the album an artistic touch, Berg says: "If you look at any kind of art, whether it be visual art or musical art, ... there's something that's really interesting about negative space, leaving things kind of open sometimes instead of rushing to fill in those voids."
The album's open space also gives people room to worship and meditate on the scriptural truths within the songs.
"I want people to be able to listen to the album and feel closer to the Lord and be able to worship to it," Retherford says.
Click here to listen to Doxa Theo's interview on the "Charisma News" podcast.
Jenny Rose Curtis is a copy editor for Charisma Media.
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