"Shelter" Physical CD
"Shelter" Physical CD
“I’ve been doing the exact same thing since I was 16 years old, and I still have the same giddy feeling leading up to something like this,” shares Pat Barrett of releasing his third studio project, Shelter (Bowyer & Bow / Capitol CMG). “Writing these songs and creating them has been such a joy.”
The delight Barrett took in the creation process is evident across the dozen tracks that comprise his highly anticipated follow-up to 2021’s Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly. This time, the Atlanta-based artist — who’s known for penning global anthems like “Build My Life,” “The Way (New Horizon)” and “Good Good Father” — adds a little more childlike playfulness to his thoughtful worship-pop mix. “I am feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin, and there’s a couple songs on this album that I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to put out five years ago,” Barrett admits. “Simple, joyful songs — I find them to be quite healing at this point in my life.”
The prolific songwriter discovers freedom in surrender on “Better Hands,” a song he says “feels like a sigh of relief.” Meanwhile, on the intrepid, authoritative “Scatter,” the Dove Award winner challenges the enemy by refocusing his anxious mind on the truth of God’s Word. “Of all the things I can choose to be fearful of, of all the voices I can choose to let in,” he says, “they don’t seem as tormenting when I’ve chosen a different Voice to take the mic.”
Contrasting the potency of “Scatter,” the beautiful simplicity of “How We Remember” leads listeners to reverent communion with Christ and serves as the ultimate heart reset.
Meanwhile, selections like “Every Good Thing” and “Beautiful Life” highlight the power of gratitude and the fleeting nature of time, respectively. While it’s not the album’s namesake, a line in “Beautiful Life” actually cuts to the core of the record: “Oh, what a beautiful life. It doesn’t mean it’s always going to feel all right, but it’ll be a gift if you hold it right.”
These days, Barrett is learning to carefully hold the tension each sunrise brings. And, more importantly, he’s learning to take refuge in the only One strong enough to carry it — a central theme that permeates Shelter.
“The more life you live, the more hurt that stacks up and the more things don’t go your way. You have to put all of that somewhere, and I want God to be the One I turn to in all of that,” Barrett observes. “What else could possibly hold the complexity and the intensity and the joy and the suffering? What other place can handle all that?”
On the aspirational “Hopes For You” — a tear-stained offering originally intended for his children — Barrett contends suffering actually produces the best results. As he tracked vocals for the prayerful ballad at Nashville’s historic RCA Studios, the father of three realized “Hopes For You” encapsulated dreams for himself as much as it outlined wishes for his kids. “I’m good with not settling for the easy road,” he says. “I’m OK with the hardship and the process that instills virtues worth having, and I want my kids to know the hard stuff is actually going to forge their character.”
Informed by the nuances of raising children, wisdom gleaned from Scripture and conversations with friends, Shelter is an umbrella covering songs about praising God when blessings abound and seeking Him when things get heavy.
“These songs have helped me, and I always hope my songs can be a help to others,” Barrett remarks of Shelter’s 12 original selections. “I hope people have a sense of connection with something way bigger than themselves; and in all the day-to-day rustlings, recognize there’s a bigger story happening. Honestly, I hope this album puts the attention in the right place.”
1. Better Hands
2. Every Good Thing
4. Beautiful Life
5. Praise Him! (with Katie Torwalt)
6. How We Remember
8. No Body
9. Hopes For You
10. Seen Known Loved
11. Sing Soul Sing
12. You Know What I Need