Echoes, the newest studio record from Matt Maher (Essential/Sony) is a collection of declarations in the midst of dealing with human suffering. After writing most of the songs for the record, Maher lost his father, and “Echoes” took on a whole new personal dimension for the artist. “Worship music paints with broad strokes for large groups of people, that stem from intimate stories and experiences; the challenge, as a creator, is to somehow let the former come out of the latter.” In his own moment of loss, Maher found himself processing his grief from the truths and declarations in the new songs. “Jesus chose to respond to death by embracing it. By embracing it, He destroyed it. This record became, for me, my response to sin and suffering. I had to formulate my own echo. I had to decide if I was going to echo the message of the cross back to the world, or my own narrow view of suffering.” Maher is no stranger to songs that connect to the heart of the human condition, having penned numerous No. 1 hits and performed around the world, including at an intimate meeting with Pope Francis earlier this year. With “Echoes,” he digs a bit deeper, exposing the raw nerve of love and loss and piercing it with truth.