TCB Exclusive: Bethel Music's Kalley Talks Finding Emmanuel In The Rubble On 'Faultlines'

A veteran member of the Bethel Music worship collective, acclaimed singer/songwriter Kalley Heiligenthal is known for co-writes of popular praise anthems like “Ever Be.” She was showcased on Bethel Music’s first Spanish language release and also serves as a second-year worship pastor at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry. Now, Kalley steps into the solo spotlight with her recently-released two-EP debut. Birthed in the aftermath of last year’s California wildfires, the alt-pop/electronic Faultlines Vol. 1 and Faultlines Vol. 2 overarchingly reaffirm Kalley’s trust in the God who doesn’t run from disaster. Produced by LaeL (Anberlin, Number One Gun), Faultlines Vol. 1 is hallmarked by six songs of breakthrough and unbridled expectation. The introspectively-focused Faultlines Vol. 2 was produced by Jason Ingram (Lauren Daigle, Cory Asbury) and also features six selections. Recently, Kalley talked with us about the inspiration behind her new music and her hopes for the collection.

Congratulations on the recent release of 'Faultlines Vol. 1' and 'Faultlines Vol. 2' your debut solo project. When did you first feel the stirring to step into the solo spotlight and how long was this project in the making?
Bethel Music approached me about an album a few years back, which got me thinking more seriously about what I’d want to say, what kind of approach I’d take on an album. Once the fire hit in July 2018, I began writing toward some of these themes as I personally processed what had just happened in our city and lives.

How would you describe the sound of your music to new listeners?
Both EPs have their own unique sounds— 'Faultlines Vol. 1' is more poppy, alternative, experimental. While 'Faultlines Vol. 2' is also experimental, it employs a more cinematic, dark approach to the story.

What was behind the desire to release these projects as individual EPs and how does the sound or message of these projects compare and contrast?
Situations in our life aren’t often one-note, especially the ones that really form and shape us. The fires and the process of personal excavating and healing that would unfold after came with highs and lows, tenderness and tension, thrill of breakthrough and honest vulnerability. These EPs capture multiple sides to the same coin.

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What inspired the title 'Faultlines?'
I had written the song “Faultlines” with Jason Ingram with the inspiration coming from a line I had written in my journal months before, “So how about all these fault lines, are they yours or are they mine?” It was me expressing the human need of understanding and placing what we go through in our lives—we often want to settle blame, “Was this my fault? Who’s to blame? Why is all of this happening?”— but for me I’ve realized that the answers I’m demanding aren’t actually what bring peace; we need healing, comfort, perspective. God doesn’t send calamity, and whether we’re to blame or something was wrongfully done to us, the Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus picks it all up and bears it Himself, administering healing, hope and newness to what formerly had been sources of pain. It felt like a summary statement to the themes and conversation of the album and worked well with the two EPs.

What message do you hope listeners take away from the new music?
My hope is that they would come with their vulnerability to a Jesus who isn’t waiting for us to have it all together before we approach Him; to find Emmanuel in the rubble, unafraid of the mess with all of our questions, doubt, pain and joy laid out before Him and know He’s committed to us all the way through it.

Which of these new songs was the most challenging to write or record?
We had a lot of different iterations of “In the Middle of It” before we landed on the lyrics and melody that we have now. It was well worth it!

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What is your favorite new song to perform live right now?
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of leading “Alabaster Heart.” After everything I mean it more and more that anything He wants that He sees in me He can have. I’ve come to see even more how trustworthy He is with anything I’d bring Him, how He always hands it back better than what I had surrendered to Him in the first place and it makes it a joy to lay my life down to Him.

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations at the moment?
I have a two and a three-year-old so my most honest answer is I mostly only get to listen to the 'Frozen' soundtrack and Baby Shark.

What should listeners expect coming in 2020 from the Bethel Music collective?
We have a compilation album on the horizon that is shaping up to be incredible!