Meredith Mauldin and UPPERROOM are poised to premiere their new record, The Turning, on July 29. The new collection is an 8-song album with a mixture of live and in-studio recordings with guest features from talented worship leaders like Elyssa Smith, Chris Shealy, Abbie Gamboa and more. The recently released single, “You Remain (feat. Elyssa Smith),” serves as a preview of the record. In this TCB Exclusive, Meredith Mauldin talks about the title of the record, collaborating with other worship leaders and how she defines success.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of The Turning! What prompted you to pick the title for the project?
Thank you so much! There are quite a few reasons, but I’ll just give you a couple. I once had a very vivid dream where lyrics from a song I had sung started to come alive and began to play out. I saw Jesus; He was weeping while looking at a woman who was gaunt, sickly, and dressed in rags. She was facing the other direction looking for someone to love her. I saw Jesus, radiant and pure, saying “If she will just turn to me, I will give her everything she needs. I’ll feed her the finest foods, and dress her in the most beautiful robes.” But she stayed turned the other way. After that dream, my passion has been to write songs that help the Bride (the church) turn to look at Jesus. He has everything we need if we will turn to him.
Which track, or lyric, do you think the world most needs to hear now in its current state?
I would say the bridge from “You Remain.” The lyric is, “When I see your face, I’ll wish I’d given more away. So, don’t let me waste a trial, don’t let me miss the chance to praise.” In the hardest, darkest times; when it’s the hardest to praise is when it’s the most powerful! It’s the only time this side of Heaven we will get to offer God anything. Our worship and praise are what brings heaven to earth, so I truly believe times of trial are when we should be praising the most! It’s a perspective shift to remind us that we will never forget the things we give to God.
You are previewing the full album with two pre-release singles. How do you feel these two tracks represent the full project?
Since the album is called “The Turning,” I felt both of these singles focus our eyes on the amazing person of Jesus and magnify his character! I wanted to lead with songs that lavish our love on Jesus! They are songs that are meant to minister to the Lord’s heart.
The Turning is a mix of live and studio tracks. How do you think both productions enhance the project?
The songs that were done live are what I’d consider corporate worship songs. I love the energy and authenticity of other worshippers coming together and the live, organic sound of these songs. The studio songs are a little more intimate. Some of those songs are ones I played and sang in my prayer room over and over. I loved the creativity and intentionality that the studio allows for some of those tracks like “Home” and “Our Story.” I love both settings for different reasons!
This album features collaborations with many worship leaders. How are these connections made and relationships formed throughout creating?
Well, this one is a fun answer because I was the worship director at UPPERROOM for about 7 years. So almost everyone on this project was people I have loved, done life with, encountered the Lord with, traveled with, etc. These are my people! So, collaboration was a joy! My brother-in-law produced the album which made it even more special! This felt like a family project!
How are you looking to define success for this album?
This question is one that I believe most artists wrestle with every time they put out a project, to some degree. I will say, I have had to lay down my definition of success at the Lord’s feet many times and ask for His definition instead. Worship music is one of the only genres that is first and foremost written and sung not to please people but to please the one to whom we sing. These songs have been my personal worship in different seasons. So if no one hears it or if it goes viral, if He is pleased then it’s successful.
What are you most expectant for in the remainder of 2022?
Honestly, I’m just in a really sweet season of life! My kids are at a really fun age and my husband and I are working on a lot of fun projects! We have been doing a lot more worship nights at our home, which are some of my favorite times with the Lord and friends. I have the privilege of traveling a lot with SongLab, where I help worship teams to song write as a team and teach a lot on worship. I’m just enjoying this season with the Lord! So, yay for 2022!