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Singer/songwriter Melanie Penn reveals Christmas album 'Immanuel' to release Nov. 3

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Thu, Oct 5th 2017 05:05 pm
Melanie Penn, `Immanuel`
Melanie Penn, "Immanuel"
Project birthed out of singer's own story of loss
New York City singer/songwriter Melanie Penn's new Christmas project, titled "Immanuel," is set to release Nov. 3. Her third studio album 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 human way.
"As a songwriter, you typically draw from your experiences and observations, and your songs invite people into your personal narrative," Penn said. "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 and 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 said she felt an even deeper calling to leave an impact through her songs. She said part of her healing came through the writing process of delving into the greatest birth story ever told.
"Great Things," inspired by Mary's story, came to Penn through the process of an arduous weeklong writing retreat. Others, such as "Follow the Star," came from the perspective of the wise men, and popped into Penn's head like a gift.
"There's something about the 'normalness' of the Christmas story I'd never thought of before," she said. "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."
Penn is from Brooklyn. After having success on the national Broadway touring stage, she shifted her attention to her career as a songwriter and artist, desiring to sing her own words rather than those of others. Her first album, "Wake Up Love," was released in 2010, followed by "Hope Tonight" (2014).
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