Review/Interview: Hymns & Sacred Songs by Leigh Nash


Thanks to Melanie Siewert for providing this review and interview for The Worship Community!

Leigh Nash fans are in for a special treat!  After 5 years, she is releasing her first solo album, Hymns & Sacred Songs through Kingsway.  For those who are unfamiliar with Nash, she is the lead voice of Sixpence None The Richer.  Hits like Kiss Me and Breathe Your Name, made Sixpence a mainstay in American pop culture.  When asked to record an album of hymns with Kingsway, Nash jumped at the opportunity.  Hymns & Sacred Songs holds a special value to Nash, and she graciously shared some of her thoughts with TWC.

How did this special project come about?

I was asked if I’d be interested in making a hymns record and flipped! I’ve always wanted to do this and am so grateful for the opportunity!

How did you come to decide which hymns to use?

John Hartley, who produced the record, did much of the song selecting. He did a beautiful job I might add. I contributed to the writing of several, and I selected those by looking through an old hymnal and finding words I was particularly moved by.

What brought on the decision to write new melodies to these hymns as opposed to using the traditional ones?

I really love the idea of bringing new life into these beautiful words. They’re timeless, but sometimes melodies can get a bit stale and it’s hard to be as inspired by them. These new melodies are beautiful and I feel they breathe new life into these sacred words.

Which hymn(s)/song(s) mean the most to you in this project, and why?

I love O Heart Bereaved and Lonely – this song resonates with me the most because it so adeptly describes feeling discouraged and broken. It is a common human emotion and I think this song says so beautifully in words not to be discouraged because Jesus knows all – we are not alone. Such a comforting song. I also really love The Power of the Cross. It’s such a powerful song – I had chills while singing it.

What are your hopes as a result of this project?

I pray that people are encouraged and lifted by this music.

Melanie’s thoughts on the project:

In familiar Sixpence fashion, Nash brings some bluegrass and folk in Hymns and Sacred Songs to some memorable hymns by Fanny J. Crosby, Charles Wesley, and others.  She contributed to the melodic arrangements on four of the songs, from which the arrangements of Out of My Bondage (Jesus, I Come) by William Sleeper (1887) and Come Ye Thankful People Come by Henry Alford (1844) are attributed to just her.  The oldest hymn in this project is Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above by Charles Wesley written in 1743.  The most unique song is Be Still My Soul written in German by Katharina A. von Schlegel in 1752, and then translated into English by Jane L. Borthwick in 1855.

There are also four cover songs in this project:

Isaiah 55 (Nothing You Can’t Do) by singer/songwriter/worship leader Katie Gustafson.
The Power of the Cross by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend.
Give Myself to You by worship leader Savannah Ellis.
Song of Moses by Aaron Keyes.

Other hymns included in this project are Savior, Like A Shepherd by Dorothy A. Thrupp (1836), Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson (1758), Come Ye Thankful People Come by Henry Alford (1844), and Blessed Redeemer by Fanny Crosby (1820-1915).

Hymns & Sacred Songs is a fusion of timeless and newly crafted hymns. It’s the first of three projects for Nash and Kingsway that will surely bring a new appreciation to classic hymns as well as inspiration for songwriters to write new ones. Every song in this project makes a great addition to any worship music library and Sunday Setlists.

For a detailed song breakdown on Melanie’s blog, click HERE.

More information on Leigh Nash: FacebookMySpace | Kingsway

Hymns & Sacred Songs releases tomorrow (Tuesday, November 15, 2011) on Kingsway.