August 15, 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Carolyn Arends’s first CD, I Can Hear You, a project which offered enduring favorites like “Seize the Day,” “Reaching,” and “The Power of Love.” Arends is celebrating the milestone with two new recordings: A full-length album of rootsy new originals, called Recognition, and an EP of acoustic worship tunes, tentatively titled Our Songbook, Volume 1. Now an indie artist, Arends invited fans to help create the music through a Kickstarter campaign, to overwhelming response.
When Arends launched the crowd-funding campaign on June 30, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Although the thoughtful folk-pop artist has twelve previous releases under her belt, it’s been six years since her last full-length release. Fans, however, let her know quickly that they were still interested in her work. The campaign’s initial goal of $20,000 was funded in just over nine hours.
“The response was more encouraging than I can say,” Arends confesses. The Kickstarter is still open, with an eye towards several more creative stretch goals. Fans who participate will receive the music months ahead of its public release, and they can also opt in for a variety of additional rewards, from art prints of the album’s cover painting to vintage tour swag to livestream video time with Carolyn.
“I almost didn’t launch this campaign,” Arends reveals, “because I worried that, given everything the world is going through right now, the timing wasn’t right. But one of the songs I’m recording is called “Without Music” and it speaks to the fact that humans never stop making music, no matter what we go through. Music is a gift God has given us to comfort us, sustain us, and give us hope. So, I’m glad I decided to go ahead with these projects and got to experience another of God’s good gifts—the gift of community.”
Carolyn Arends has released 12 albums and is the author of 3 critically-acclaimed books. 15 of Arends’ songs have become top 10 radio singles on the Canadian pop and US Christian charts. Arends has earned 2 Dove Awards, 3 Juno Nominations, and was recognized as the West Coast Music Awards’ Songwriter of the Year. Her prose has been recognized by The Word Guild, The Evangelical Press Association and The Canadian Church Press Awards.
In addition to her busy touring and speaking schedule, Carolyn has been a regular columnist for Christianity Today, Faith Today, and CT Women, and has served as an adjunct instructor at several colleges and seminaries. She has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Regent College. She lives in Surrey, BC with her husband, Mark, and their young adult children Benjamin and Bethany.
Carolyn is currently the Director of Education for Renovaré, a far-reaching organization that encourages and nurtures spiritual renewal. She continues to be available on a select basis for speaking, retreat facilitation, concerts, worship leading and song writing and performance seminars.
Sign up to receive bi-monthly story updates at firstname.lastname@example.org – put Light Magazine updates in the Subject line