Christian pop/rock band Leeland has just released their fifth studio set, Invisible. Released on Bethel Music's imprint, Invisible debuts at No. 5 on Billboard's Christian album chart. The set 3,000 copies on the week of release. Invisible marks the group's third appearance in the Top Christian Albums top 10.
One of the album's cuts "Lion and the Lamb" is already becoming a worship favorite. "Lion and the Lamb," an anthem co-written with Johnson and Brenton Brown, was undoubtedly God-breathed. The band was leading worship in California years ago when Leeland says the chorus literally fell from heaven as he played piano quietly during a prayer time at the conclusion of the service. On multiple occasions, he attempted but failed to complete the song with other writers.
"I tried writing with two other people on it, and it just didn't really work out. They didn't seem too excited about it, and I wasn't going to force it, so I just kept it close to my chest and was waiting for the right person to write it with-someone I connected with," Leeland shares. Brenton Brown became that trusted co-writer after Leeland shared the initial lyrics with him at a songwriter's retreat. Following their co-write, Leeland texted Johnson for his additional input.
"I felt so uninvolved in the song. The song just kind of happened to me... But those are the best ones, I feel like," Leeland admits. "It's been a special journey getting to watch that song have a life of its own."
Elsewhere on Invisible, the Redding, California collective's fingerprints abound as their influence connected Leeland with Bethel's renowned stable of writers for the first time. "Over the years, we've gotten to write with a lot of co-writers, but what's been so cool is getting to see the heart behind all the writers at Bethel because they carry something different; they carry something unique," Leeland asserts.
Passionate track "Perfect Love" features the poetic contributions of budding lyricist Steffany Gretzinger, while "Beloved" was written in Australia with Darlene Zschech, whose music had a massive influence on Leeland and his family growing up. "It felt less like a songwriting session and more just like a worship time together," he says of the co-write. In addition, powerful cross-centered ballad "Son Was Lifted Up" provides a standout moment of worship that focuses on Christ's sacrifice, with an assist from Johnson.
All in all, Invisible feels like a fresh beginning for a band who's spent the last 10 years honing their craft, refining their identity and using their gifts for the glory of God. Now, after a little wandering, they've finally found a new home and a family with which to share the journey.
"I feel like with this album, we've finally come back to who we were meant to be-and not just musically, but with the heart of the songs. All the songs talk about identity and who we are in Christ because that's what God's been speaking to us," Leeland offers. "We don't feel like we're doing all this for God now; we feel like we're doing it with Him. We're just enjoying the ride with Him."