Phil Wickham

In a year when the family of God couldn’t physically gather in houses of worship around the world, Phil Wickham wrote songs primed for communal praise. Throughout the process of crafting new music during a global pandemic that created unprecedented obstacles for the local church, Wickham saw an opportunity - the church wasn’t relegated to a building. It was happening in our homes and in our hearts. As his heart longed for eternity, Wickham set out to express this universally-experienced awakening on his eighth studio album, Hymn of Heaven (Fair Trade Services).

Since his self-titled debut in 2006, Wickham has emerged as a leader in the modern worship movement, penning countless songs sung in churches around the world. His Gold-certified single, “This Is Amazing Grace,” was his first career No. 1, holding the top spot for 13 consecutive weeks and was named Billboard’s No. 1 “Christian Airplay Song of the Year” in 2014 and BMI’s “Christian Song of the Year” in 2015, while the anthemic “Living Hope” earned him a GMA Dove Award for “Worship Recorded Song of the Year” in 2019. Combining a strong sense of artistic vision with emotive lyrics, his discography now includes eight full-length projects, multiple Christmas releases, and a series of popular Singalong records that capture Wickham’s songs doing what they were always meant to do—giving people language to sing to God.

“This is a record full of praise and thankfulness, just lifting up the name of Jesus and speaking what we really know the reality is even though we don’t see it,” Wickham says. “All I want to do is facilitate moments where people can encounter the presence of God.”

Wickham creates ample space for this encounter to happen across Hymn of Heaven. Although some of the songs were written during a somber season, the album’s sonic landscape isn’t subdued. “House of the Lord” is perhaps one of the most ebullient songs Wickham has ever recorded as he proclaims: “There’s joy in the house of the Lord. There’s joy in the house of the Lord today. And we won’t be quiet. We shout out Your praise.”

“I couldn’t even go to my actual house of the Lord when that song was written,” Wickham remarks, noting the irony. “In that moment, I think I was learning that happiness can come and go because it’s based in circumstance, but joy can be lasting. Joy is based in identity, and nothing changes our identity in God. No matter what happens in this world, we’re still forgiven, set free. We’re still redeemed. So there’s this deeper thing called joy that we can always carry with us because it’s attached to identity and not attached to our circumstance.”

The album’s lead single, “Battle Belongs,” follows a similar uptempo trajectory. Before Hymn of Heaven even released, “Battle Belongs” had already topped five different radio charts for multiple weeks, reflecting the power of the song’s appeal.

Wickham hopes he’s written proclamations of praise that will remind people that this world is not our home, but in the meantime, he stresses that any place people find themselves can become a sanctuary—holy ground for the spirit of God to inhabit.

“I just want to write songs that I’d want to sing with my church in a way that musically lights my heart up. And I think I’ve done that better on this record than I ever have before,” he offers, fully comfortable in his artistic skin. “I cannot wait for people to hear this album. I can’t wait for these songs to be a part of people’s lives.”

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