Integrity Music's and Running Club Records' Citizens has reimagined their GMA Dove nominated album, The Joy of Being, as a live recorded album with today's release, The Joy of Being Together. The new album features the original tracks as well as six additional tracks from previously released songs recorded live. Celebrating a decade together, Citizens recorded the album in a church near the University of Washington. See the video below for the "Only Jesus Christ" live performance from their colorful and creative recording.
"Ten years ago we all met in Seattle in an old church building near the University of Washington," recalls Zach Bolen frontman for Citizens. "Now a decade later we’re back in that same place to film and record The Joy of Being Together. A lot has happened since we first met there, namely Citizens forming, but even bigger has been the gift of lifelong friendship. This project is a celebration of being loved by God and being loved by one another. The Joy of Being Together is about living-fully alive in the body of Christ; being known by one another and receiving the benefits and challenges of vulnerability in stride. The pandemic created a physical barrier that made for a lot of time apart so, in a practical sense, this record really is a lot about coming together again to do something we love."
The original studio recording, The Joy of Being, captured the band's thoughts about peeling back all the distractions to find our truest and most important affirmation in the joy of being loved by God. And now as more and more are getting back together after a long time separated, they want to share these songs in a new environment capturing the joy of being together.
"We were created to be together and to reflect back to one another the beauty and mystery of God as his image-bearers," shares Bolen. "We actually learn more about God through our stories and experiences than we ever could if left to just our own thoughts. Friendship is an invaluable joy."
The Joy of Being is nominated for "Best Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year" for the 52nd GMA Dove Awards. The awards will be held live and in-person on October 19th at Allen Arena in Nashville and will air exclusively on TBN on October 22nd.