Seattle-based band Citizens and Integrity Music announce the release of their new studio release – The Joy of Being. This album is about living fully alive in Christ. The band has an abundance of talent as musicians and writers, crafting beautiful and engaging songs full of musical creativity and substance. They strive to honor the integrity of the beautiful gift we call music, especially as it pertains to songs about and to God.
With this important truth in mind, Citizens set out to make songs that focus on our being and not our doing. Songs that focus more on what God has done – the result was The Joy of Being. In Christ there is life beyond life where the wells of our souls never run dry, and the eyes of our hearts never lose their sense of wonder.
“We are living at a point in history where people are burned out more than they would say they are thriving,” shares Zach Bolen of Citizens. “I think much of that is the result of doing a lot of things without a lot of purpose. Or maybe a better way to say it is, we ‘do’ more than ‘be.’ We’ve become so dependent upon results (likes, profits, comments, views) to bring us affirmation that we’ve sort of hit the mute button on God. ‘Be still and know I am God – all you need,’ He says. ‘That can’t be all there is,’ we think and do. We go searching, wearing ourselves down to find something more.”
The Joy of Being also features the voices of five different amazing, thoughtful, and talented women – Shea Salisbury, Taylor Leonhardt, Jess Ray, Chaundra Jefferson and Sandra McCracken. They represent not only beauty, but strength and ability. Including these women on the record is representative of the desire Citizens has to lift up the importance of all of our voices in the body of Christ.
Earlier this year, the band also released the iPhone demo version of this album. This unique release tangibly demonstrated the idea of accessibility and that you don’t need a big production to share something of value. The band intended to make a version of these songs for the church to sing, without music and production overcoming the lyrics – something anyone could perform. This version was planned before the pandemic and seemed providentially God that it would be released when people were isolated, needing encouragement and songs to sing that they could take a hold of for themselves.
Citizens is pointing us to literally The Joy of Being. Peeling back all the distractions of doing and recapturing the imagination of the congregation with the reality that we will find our truest and most important affirmation in the joy of being loved by God.