The 38-year-old songstress says the album is “legacy stuff” for her, adding that she was inspired by the Christian hymnals she grew up singing in church.
“I went to a very small Free Will Baptist church in my hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma,” Carrie told NPR’s Noel King. “We would file in and sit in the pews and they’d say, ‘Open your hymnals to page…’ or whatever. And off we went. I can hear the congregation singing, and I can hear certain voices of people that, you know, I grew up with who would be behind my left shoulder or that one lady that always kind of slid around and scooped her notes all over the place, the people that would sing harmony.”
Carrie first announced the gospel album in an Instagram post on Christmas day, saying it was a follow-up to her first ever Christmas album, My Gift.
“Last year was a tough year for everybody, and I think just wanting to be positive in this world and sing these songs that bring me so much joy, hopefully, others can be like that as well and these songs can bring others joy,” she told PEOPLE Magazine. “That goes back with everything that I do … I just want to do positive things.”
Carrie, who says she’s been “lucky enough” to record songs with Christian themes throughout her career with hits like “Jesus Take the Wheel,” and “Something in the Water,” told PEOPLE that this gospel album was a “bucket list” project for her.
My Savior features guests like gospel legend, CeCe Winanas, NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bear Rinehart, southern gospel and harmonica legend Buddy Greene, and 10-time CMA musician of the year Mac McAnally.
For Carrie, singing gospel songs like the ones she intentionally chose for My Savior, carry a much different significance for her than the ones she performs on the country music stage.
“When I made this album, I’m performing for an audience of one,” she told Noel King. “I’m gonna cry talking about it, but… The whole time I was in the studio, any time I get to sing these songs, I close my eyes and I’m the only person in the room. It’s my heart for God. And I love that. It is a different feeling. It’s happy and it’s deep. And I feel like I’m making my relationship better and deeper with God when I’m singing these songs. So they’re just so important for my heart.”
My Savior is out now, wherever you listen to music. You can also join Carrie on Easter Sunday as she performs My Savior LIVE from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The service will be streamed live to the Carrie Underwood official Facebook page.
This article originally appeared here.