Hailing from New York City, singer/songwriter Melanie Penn reveals her new Christmas project Immanuel, set to release Nov. 3rd. Her third studio album, Immanuel is a winsome collection of folk-pop songs, with nine originals and one classic carol retelling the Christmas story through the perspective of the angels and people who lived through it — Mary, Joseph, The Wise Men, The Innkeeper, and even The Star of Bethlehem — in a compelling and deeply human way.
“As a songwriter, you typically draw from your experiences and observations, and your songs invite people into your personal narrative,” says Penn. “But this project is so different because this is our story. The Christmas story belongs to us all. I’m just humbly trying to shine a light on a little piece of it.”
Penn teamed up with longtime collaborator, Nashville producer Ben Shive (Sara Groves, Brandon Heath, Andrew Petersen) for the project, which took close to a year to write.
After battling a serious illness in 2016 which left Penn unable to bear children, the singer/songwriter felt an even deeper calling to leave an impact through her songs, and part of her healing came through the writing process of delving into the greatest birth story ever told.
Songs like “Great Things,” inspired by Mary’s story, came to Penn through the process of an arduous week-long writing retreat, while others like “Follow the Star,” from the perspective of The Wise Men, popped into Penn’s head like a gift.
“There’s something about the ‘normalness’ of the Christmas story I’d never thought of before. These people were so ‘regular,’ living their lives as a shepherd, a young girl, or a carpenter, and yet they encountered the supernatural and their lives changed forever. I have to believe that’s still happening every day. Especially in the telling and retelling of the Christmas story.”
2. All Things Are Possible (Gabriel)
3. Great Things (Mary)
4. Gift of Love (Angel Chorus)
5. Immanuel (Shepherd)
6. Joy to the World
7. What Child Is This (Joseph)
8. Follow the Star (Magi)
9. Light the Way (Star of Bethlehem)
10. There Is Room For You Here (Innkeeper)