Five years ago, Hillary Scott & the Scott Family couldn’t have predicted the gift they would give the world when they started recording demos of their favorite hymns.
That project, which began as a thank you to loved ones for their support following the passing of Scott’s grandfather, became the family’s first Christian album, Love Remains.
Under the production of five-time CMA winner and bluegrass giant, Ricky Skaggs, the uplifting 13-song collection shows how faith and music can heal at a time when the world may need it most. The daily news headlines worldwide in the summer of 2016 have been heavy with social unrest and unthinkable tragedy. But it is Scott’s hope that fans find their own sense of peace while listening to the new music.
“I think as much as there’s music that’s created and performed to help people escape,” she says in our interview for CMT.com, “it’s important for there to be the other side of that, which are songs that help pull emotions out of you that you try to suppress because sometimes they’re just too hard to feel.”
“I think that’s one of the things that music is for — to uplift, encourage and to make people feel loved. That’s what I want this record to do. I want people who hear this record to know that they’re loved, that they’re not alone and that there’s hope. If you’re feeling afraid, or if you’re worried about tomorrow, put this record on and see if it can break through that fear and just walk into whatever is next with bravery, open arms and an open heart.”
Scott co-wrote three songs for Love Remains, including the powerful lead single “Thy Will” – the family’s first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart. The soaring ballad was written in the wake her own personal tragedy following a miscarriage in 2015.
“Writing ‘Thy Will’ has been one of the most healing experiences of my life,” she says. “And that was through the craft of songwriting and sharing my heart about what was going on.”
She also co-wrote the album’s opener “Beautiful Messes.” Over driving acoustic melodies, Scott sings of how as humans, we’re not total lost causes in God’s eyes.
“I really wanted to start the record with that song because it’s just one of those, ‘OK, let’s get it out of the way that we’re nowhere near perfect. But we’re still loved deeply and unconditionally.’”
“Safe Haven” was co-written as a tribute to her late grandfather, but it also serves as a hopeful release for anyone yearning to reconnect with a loved one on the other side. “The Faithful Love of Jesus” has Scott sharing the lead with guest vocalist Stephen Curtis Chapman over gorgeous piano work by Bruce Hornsby.
On the closer “Ain’t No Grave,” her father Lang Scott takes the lead. With hand claps and bluesy acoustic guitar, it’s a Scott family cover of a song originally featured on 2014’s Neon Steeple by Christian act David Crowder.
“I felt like I’ve been really close to my family my whole life,” she says. “But when you spend day after day, hours a day together doing what we all love to do – music – our relationship has deepened more than I could have ever imagined. I know that sounds weird because they live here. But we’ve been so busy. Mom travels a lot still. And with Lady Antebellum, we’ve been pretty much gone nonstop for almost a decade. So to be able to make memories, laugh, cry and heal – and just go to lunch every day together – it’s just been awesome.”
New Lady Antebellum music is being created, but they’re taking their time with the material. “Where we are is in exploration mode,” she reveals. “This fall is really blocked off totally for honing in on that. We’ve got a couple things that we are really excited about that we’re living with, different songs we’ve written and some we’ve found. But there’s no hard deadline, which is nice.”
“We’ve given ourselves the gift of time to make sure every song counts that we record,” she says. “It’s slow and steady and we’ll probably pick up more in the next couple months.”
The Scott family is daughter Hillary, mother and Grammy winner Linda Davis, father Lang Scott and sister Rylee. Love Remains is available now.