With a new album and video released this week, local duo Acoustic Truth has ventured into the contemporary Christian world of music in hopes of inspiring others.
Huntley native Ryan Knott and his wife, Sarah, have released their second album, “Impact,” on iTunes, along with a video for their song “Unchanging” on YouTube.com. As of Wednesday, the album had reached number 7 on the Christian and Gospel iTunes chart. At one point upon its debut, it reached 23 overall on iTunes.
The duo released their first album, “Time,” in 2013 – leaning more toward folk, country and pop with comparisons to The Civil Wars, Lady Antebellum, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
Since, they’ve gained a fan base as they’ve performed throughout the country, including venues in the Chicago area, but their focus the past year-and-a-half or so has been on their 16-month-old son Jeremiah.
“Now that he’s old enough, we’re picking it back up again,” Ryan Knott said.
With the new album, they’re hoping to reach Christian radio stations and labels, along with a larger audience. The two perform weekly every Saturday night at their church, St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Park Ridge.
“At the end of the day, we really want to do good with the music and help impact people which is why the title came into play,” Ryan Knott said. “We want to open doors, but we want to make sure we don’t change who we are.”
Knott, a former baseball star at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock who once planned to go pro, met his wife in 2013 shortly after a sport injury. It was just before the draft at Duke University, where he graduated. He turned to music and songwriting during his rehabilitation, and started writing with Sarah.
Through the years, the two said their songs simply have come naturally. And the one constant about them is they’re honest, they said.
“[The Christian music] is something Sarah has had in her for a long time,” Ryan said. “I struggled with my faith for awhile after the baseball thing, and she brought me back on track.”
Featured in the video, the song “Unchanging,” for instance, was co-written by the couple based on their own struggles, as well as those of their friends. In the video, a young girl faces battles with an eating disorder and her own negative image about herself.
Upon writing the song, Sarah said she was thinking about a friend struggling with drug addiction who would come to church and cry.
“She felt God’s presence, but she had this battle within her,” Sarah said. “That kind of started the song ‘Unchanging.’ ”
The song evolved into a song for anyone who’s questioned whether God would catch them if they fall, she said.
And anyone who’s struggled with image issues of any sort can relate, Ryan said.
“I’ve been there as well… For me, even with baseball, once I got injured it was ‘Well, who was I?’ That’s all I knew. … Some people see a completely different person in the mirror than they are,” he said.
“You can’t see what beauty lies beneath you, God’s love,” Sarah added.
The two, now living in Elk Grove, say a move to Nashville, Tennessee, to make music full-time would be the dream, but they’re happy songwriting for themselves and others, as long as they’re making an “impact” and providing hope.
“We have super happy, joyful songs that are all about just embracing God’s love, and then we have some songs that are just the real deal,” Sarah said.
“You have this pain in your life and what do you do with that pain. We see it even with the tragedy in Texas. What do you do with that pain? … You don’t have that pain alone. You can share with others. We have a wonderful church family and we also know that God shares in our pain. … You’re not alone.”
Along with iTunes, the duo’s album is available through their website at www.acoustictruthofficial.com, or, for links, find Acoustic Truth on Facebook.