Journey will release its first new studio album in 11 years, Freedom, in one week. But the band's longtime keyboardist and co-songwriter Jonathan Cain has also been promoting a new solo effort, Arise, the sixth full-length spiritual-themed album that he's put out since 2016.
The 11-track Arise, which was released in late May and is available now via digital formats, combines new tunes with songs that appeared on Cain's 2021 EP Oh Lord Lead Us.
Cain, who wrote and recorded Arise during the pandemic, tells ABC Audio that the project reflects his general unhappiness with the direction the U.S. has been going in recent years while also encouraging Christians to be more fervent in embracing their faith.
"I sort of landed on a revival theme … like an awakening, a call to prayer, a call to … standing for freedom and standing for the church," Cain maintains. "And, you know, we had our freedoms diminished there during the lockdown. And I think everybody had to face the fact that … the government can get in the way … and churches need to stand up and say no. And a lot of them did."
The album was recorded in Nashville with musicians that Cain describes as his "go-to Christian quartet," including drummer Tommy Harden, guitarist Mike Price and bassist Tony Lucido. In addition, Jason Derlatka, who joined the Journey lineup as a keyboardist and backup singer in 2020, contributed backing vocals to a number of Arise's tracks.
While the themes of his spiritual songs and the tunes he writes for Journey may differ, Jonathan says there's a common thread between the two.
"I try to put melodies that go somewhere and lyrics that say something … contrary to what the music is out today," he notes.
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