A new album released by the local duo Acoustic Truth rose to the top of contemporary Christian and overall iTunes and Billboard charts.
Featuring both the vocals and songwriting of Huntley native Ryan Knott and his wife, Sarah, the album, “Soft But Still,” hit No. 1 on iTunes and the top of various Billboard charts for Christian albums upon its release this month.
It’s the third album and second Christian album by the duo, who now live in Elk Grove Village with their two young children.
The duo hadn’t planned to release an album this year, but they spent the past year or so during the pandemic writing music and performing songs through a livestream on Facebook.
The Facebook page at Facebook.com/AcousticTruth quickly drew more than 350,000 followers as the duo’s fan base grew. The album developed from there.
“We just let the songs form themselves, and God kind of provided the message we wanted to get out,” said Ryan Knott, a 2007 graduate of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.
Knott went to Duke University on a baseball scholarship and almost went pro before suffering an injury in 2010. He turned to music during his rehabilitation. He met Sarah as an intern at Camp Star, a summer camp for children with special needs in Chicago, and the two eventually began writing songs together.
With the most recent album and others, Acoustic Truth aims to inspire hope. All of the songs draw from personal experiences and their relationships with God, one another, family and friends.
“These aren’t just songs that sound nice and bring joy and happiness. There’s depth behind these songs,” Sarah Knott said. “We have songs that come from really hard times, but we saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Jesus was guiding us through things. He worked everything out for us in the end. … I think that’s what people are really responding to on this album, the realness of the songs and how deep the album is.”
Released in 2013, Acoustic Truth’s first album, “Time,” leaned more toward folk, country and pop with comparisons to The Civil Wars, Lady A, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. An independent album, “Time” hit 50 on the iTunes pop charts.
Soon after the album’s release, the couple decided to leave the mainstream music industry to focus on the contemporary Christian music world.
Acoustic Truth released the Christian album “Impact” in 2017, and the album climbed to the top of the contemporary Christian chart on iTunes, reaching No. 3 across all of iTunes and No. 52 on Billboard.
Through it all, they continued to perform weekly as the praise band at their church. They have two young children, Jeremiah and Naomi, who know all of the songs.
They found additional time and inspiration during the pandemic for their music.
Written at the beginning of the pandemic, one of their new songs, “Wings of Eagles,” speaks to the fear many felt during that time, Sarah Knott said. The song encourages confidence in God and his protection, she said.
The songs just kept coming from there.
“On the creative side of things, COVID opened up a whole other door for us,” Ryan Knott said. “I think it was a season of life for us that God made it clear, ‘Hey, you guys need to do this.’ ‘If you don’t do it now, you’re never going to do it again.’
“All of these songs came from a deep place, whether it’s dark or whether things are going really well. It’s kind of like a whirlwind of emotions. No two songs on this album are the same.”
• The duo’s new album is available on iTunes or at acoustictruthofficial.com.