Becky Drake talks us through the songs on NICK & BECKY DRAKE's latest release
Having recently switched labels from Elevation to Kingsway, Nick & Becky Drake, worship leaders at St Paul's Hammersmith, London, have released the album 'Unique'. Said Becky, "We used to talk about family worship or all age worship. We used to differentiate between 'kids' worship' and 'adult worship'. But now it's time to bring down the barriers and instead build the big family of God." Becky took time out from her busy schedule to talk us through the songs on the project.
The opening track was birthed in a genuine time of worship and play with two of our children. We were singing in our front room - Nick had his guitar - and our two year old Joel starting singing A-A-A! He and his big sister were giggling and dancing while Nick started to sing what is now the chorus. It's a simple praise song and for us will always have a special memory of time spent creatively worshipping with our children.
"God Is Love"
"God Is Love" was first tried out at Spring Harvest in the all-age zone. We wanted to write about the most important command, to love God with all we've got. One of our songwriting aims is to write a song that teaches or reveals God, but then releases praise and response as well. This is one of those songs - the verses remind us of the Scripture to love the Lord, while the chorus sings directly to God, "God we love you that is why we sing!"
This is a funny one! Nick arrived home one evening having discovered how to record on the iPad using very cool loops. He excitedly played me a snippet of him singing the chorus of "worship you" which had come spontaneously as he'd fiddled with this new programme. Very quickly I got some words for the verse and it became our first iPad song! We love this song, as it is all about posture - using our whole bodies in worship. We hope it'll model to the whole of God's family why we raise arms, why we bow down, why we dance.
"The Singing Song"
"The Singing Song" is a set opener. It's an invitation to sing. Years ago Nick wrote a seminar Why Do We Sing which he has delivered many, many times in churches and events and we've come to realise that even seasoned Christians often don't really stop and think why do we sing to God? We don't teach on it much in our churches, we just do it and assume everyone gets it! That was on our minds as we wrote this song: "How much joy we can bring to our King if we let ourselves sing". It's a bold call to worship.
"Take The Plank Out" and "Forever"
These two songs have become known as our campfire songs! Little choruses with catchy melodies that we could imagine singing round the campfire. We deliberately chose to leave these tracks organic, under-produced and rough round the edges - partly to communicate to churches that our songs can be done just with a guitar and some singers - but also as a palate cleanser in the album! Two stripped back moments to reveal the constant tension in writing Christian albums - producing worship-filled music that people want to listen to, but also resourcing the Church with usable songs.
"He Is Here"
The verses of "He Is Here" have been kicking around for a long time! One of our core values for worship is that we believe we really can encounter the living God, not because of anything we do or conjure up but purely because that's what God himself has always done. Through history he's been communicating and revealing himself to his people. Looking at how God has related to numerous Bible characters gives us an insight into how he communicates with us - which is what this song is all about. But the original chorus was ditched in the studio and we re-wrote a simpler, more spacious chorus simply declaring "He is here/The presence of God."
"Love" is to be listened to. It's intended to minister and give space to God. I wrote it after I'd read Rob Bell's Love Wins. That book moved me and revealed God's love in a massive, fresh way to me. All I wanted to sing was "You are love, you are love", and sat at the piano one day and this came out!
The title track comes right from our hearts! One of our passions is our children, and with every pregnancy it has shown us more and more the miracle and wonder of each created person, their gifts, their potential, their call. Our life in God's hands is the most exciting adventure and hopefully the words and upbeat groove of this track communicates that! It aims to celebrate our uniqueness and therefore celebrate God's amazing creativity!
"Your Love Never Changes"
This is one of my favourites! I always want to be truthful and bring reality into songs. This song is a little reminder of the unchanging love of God in all circumstances - even when life is tough.
"God Be Glorified"
We wrote this song just before New Wine last year and it became one of the anthems of our week there. In many ways it expresses what this album is all about - EVERYONE coming to praise. Not just the young or the old or one nationality or tradition - but God is most glorified when the Church unites around his name.
"The Angels Knew"
This song was penned before Christmas last year. A songwriting session between Nick and one of our producers Dan Weeks led to the melody of this entire song. I then took the tune and wrote a set of words in time to perform it at our church's annual Carols By Candlelight. Accompanied by a full choir and orchestra, it was a spine-tingling moment and I couldn't wait to record it. With an element of suspense, it tells the Christmas story and we feel is a great end track to the album.