RIAA Platinum-selling group Hillsong UNITED has revealed the album cover for their new studio project, EMPIRES, 95,000 feet from space. Presenting the cover from the stratosphere on their website and social media channels, EMPIRES will release May 26 with Hillsong Music/Capitol CMG. This project follows 2013’s ZION, the group’s most successful and fastest selling album to date.
Over the past week, UNITED has taken to their social media channels, which are one of the highest followed in their genre, to slowly reveal the album cover and title, creating a buzz around the title of the project. Fans have gravitated to Facebook and Instagram deciphering the clues and photos posted, picking up on the project’s artwork, messages and contrasts.
“We thought if there was ever a place to launch our new album, it should be somewhere we’ve never been before,” explains Joel Houston, UNITED’s lead. “In this world that desperately strives to reach new heights and searches for new highs, we thought to debut the EMPIRES album cover as far and as high as we could naturally go. Knowing full well that where it will land, and ultimately what this project and our lives are all about, begins and ends where our knees hit the ground.”
Delving deeper into the album’s theme, Houston continues, “EMPIRES is the story of two worlds. We wanted to create songs that first seek to listen, then speak the good news of Jesus and His grace into the dichotomy, tension and hopeful-collision of this broken and fragile world we see here and now, and the unshakeable and mysterious reality of the Kingdom we can’t see. Our desire has been to simply create the most honest project we could.”
This release follows the band’s largest growth and international impact in over the last two years. With the 2013 release of ZION, UNITED’s notoriety increased with their No. 1 single “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” as it became a RIAA Platinum certified single. This was the group’s first No.1 radio song, cracking the longest reign on Billboard’s airplay/sales/streaming-based Hot Christian Songs chart.
In 2014, UNITED was award five GMA Dove Awards including the coveted Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for “Oceans.” They were also nominated for their first American Music Award. Hillsong was included in 10 of Billboard’s End of Year charts topping five of the charts: Top Christian Artists, Hot Christian Songs, Hot Christian Songs Artists, Christian Airplay Artists and Christian Digital Songs.
UNITED continues it’s 2015 as the subject of the forthcoming film distributed by Relativity Studios “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise” opening in theaters nationwide in May. The film chronicles the journey of the Australian band. Capitol CMG will also be releasing a soundtrack from the film in April prior to the film’s release.