Ryan Stevenson on His New Album: "44 Years of Free Will Cannot Undo Abba's Perfect Plan"

Ryan Stevenson

GRAMMY®-nominated, Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter Ryan Stevenson returns with ABLE this Friday. His fourth full-length Gotee Records release, the highly anticipated eight song set-all co-penned by Stevenson-is a celebration of his identity in Christ. 

Stevenson reveals, "Of all the songs I've written and am constantly writing, I chose 8. 8 songs that perfectly capture NOW. There is no, `oh I really think people will like this one' or, `let's write this one for radio.' These are literally melodic poems that have come from my innermost thoughts, and intimate conversations with God.

"When listening through, you might find lyrics that don't even really have a `redemptive' quality to them, but are more or less guttural laments induced by personal anxieties that I still deal with TODAY. No doubt, this whole record points to the answer (which happens to be the title of track number 7) to all of our affliction and worry. In regard to the glue that pieces these tracks together, perhaps the quintessential ingredient has much less to do with the melodies, sounds, or rhythms; it's the fact that 44 years of free will cannot undo Abba's perfect plan."

ABLE was produced by a cadre of Christian music's top names, including Micah Kuiper (TobyMac), Keith Everette Smith (Tasha Layton), Zach Holmes (RICHLIN), and 2022 Dove Award-winning Producer of the Year Jeff Pardo, among others.   

The album's opening track and latest digital single, "Closer" was written by Stevenson, Ethan Hulse and The Afters' Jordan Mohilowski. Featured on Spotify's New Music Friday Christian and Pandora's New Christian Music Now, as well as other leading playlists, "Closer" depicts a watershed moment in Stevenson's understanding of grace. 
"I was raised in a strict religious environment, and I saw God through a lens of fear, wrath, and moodiness, thinking He was always disappointed in His creation," Stevenson explains. "But in this last season, the Lord quietly led me out into a wilderness where He could get face-to-face with me. I believe He did this out of kindness and jealousy for my wholeness, to settle a lot of questions and doubts I've lived with for many years." 
"For the first time ever, I've become rooted and established in my beloved identity," he adds. "The Holy Spirit has begun to peel off layers of insecurity and fear of rejection. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says we are 'the righteousness of God,' and Galatians 2:20 says we 'have been crucified with Christ' and that everything connected with the old flesh has died. This revelation has pierced my heart and brought me tremendous freedom and a passion for helping others see Jesus through the same lens."  
ABLE is also highlighted by the title-cut and debut single, a soul-stirring testimony of God's faithfulness written by Stevenson, Blake NeeSmith and Jeff Pardo. In addition, the poignant "Carry Me," which Stevenson co-penned with Micah Kuiper and AJ Prius, holds a particularly special meaning.   
"'Carry Me' is the deepest expression of how I've felt over the last three years," Stevenson shares. "It's been a daily prayer for me, having dealt with tremendous fear, uncertainty, and feelings of rejection. I experienced a lot of loneliness in this last season, and simply asking God to carry me felt like the prayer of a child longing for his dad."  
Stevenson will share songs from ABLE as one of the featured artists at the 3rd Annual "K-LOVE Presents Live at Red Rocks." The sold-out event, slated for August 1-2 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, will also showcase sets from Zach Williams, We The Kingdom, CAIN, Anne Wilson, MercyMe and Jeremy Camp, among others. 
In addition, Stevenson is set to bring his "Gospel Nights Unplugged" Tour to a range of churches, theaters and other intimate venues throughout the year. The tour originated in 2020 as "The Backyard Show," and Stevenson has since played over 170 concerts to more than 34,000 fans.    

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