Singer/songwriter and New Zealand native Phil Joel is releasing a solo album called Better Than I Found It.
Joel is releasing the six-song EP on January 22, 2021. The entire project was written, recorded, and produced in his home studio during the quarantine.
He was apart of the well-known Christian band Newsboys for a total of 14 years, initially joining in 1994 as bassist and vocals. He left the band in 2006 to spend more time with his family. He rejoined the group in 2018 for a tour.
According to an article with The Christian Beat when he rejoined Newsboys in 2018, he did so along with founding member Peter Furler. The supergroup has since played hundreds of shows around the USA and released Newsboys United in 2019.
This new album is a bit of a passion project for the artist.
"The idea of us all taking responsibility to care for our fellow man, our nation and our planet has really been in the forefront of my mind for the last couple of years, so recording these songs now seemed like perfect timing," Joel says.
Joel has seven solo recordings to his credit; he founded and fronted the acclaimed worship band Zealand; and his first book, Redwoods and Whales: Becoming Who You Actually Are—a collection of personal stories and truths learned from his life and musical journey—was published in 2019.
"Right now, we’re all being forced to think about the future and what kind of world we want to live in, not only for ourselves and our kids but for our neighbors and their kids and grandkids too. It’s a time to ask some big questions about where we are and how we got here. But more importantly, it’s about who we want to be as we move into this delicate new future. I’ve tried to explore those questions and reflect the struggles they pose, while also presenting the hope of a better tomorrow," he says.
The project ended up including everyone in the Joel family, shown by a YouTube video he released recently on the recording of Better Than I Found It.
Newsboys started their musical journey back in 1985 in Mooloolaba, Australia. The band has seen 16 different members over the years. The lead singer to start was Peter Furler but in 2009 Furler left to start his own solo projects. That's when Michael Tait took over as lead singer.