Steven Taylor Tauren Wells
Tauren Wells is hopeful for the future and reminding his fans that "now is not forever."
Friday marked the release of Wells' latest album Joy in the Morning and the singer-songwriter spoke to PEOPLE about his inspirations and the message behind it.
"It's been two years in the making. We've really invested a lot into it. Really, I just hope that people take a great sense of hope from this particular project," Wells 36, tells PEOPLE. "I hope that as they listen through it, they find the songs they want to put on their workout playlist. The songs that they're going to turn on Saturday morning when they're making breakfast."
He continues, "The songs that really allow them to evaluate their inner life as well. I think music does this amazing job of opening up our soul and our spirit, and allowing us to take the inventory of what's happening in our hearts.
courtesy Steven Taylor Joy in the Morning Cover Art
The 10-track album was written by the musician over the COVID-19 lockdown — a time where Wells got to take a step back and do some "soul searching."
"It gave me time to be at home and to contemplate things that I hadn't even really thought about. I realized there was a lot happening in my heart that I wasn't aware of. I think a lot of us live like that because we're so busy, and there's so much happening," the "Fake It" singer says.
"There are a lot of people out there, like me, who are very driven and ambitious and achievement orientated. You're going after your goals and your dreams, and rise and grind and all that kind of stuff. But the problem with that type of mentality is that a lot of times, our inner life gets overlooked."
He adds, "I think that time gave me time to pay attention to what was happening in my heart, and to process it, which everyone processes differently. I happen to process through writing songs and making music. It was a really beautiful journey."
During that processing time, Wells also came to terms with his ways and realized he wanted to do and be more. "I'm not super emotional in a sense of sharing my emotions. I definitely have a lot of emotions. But, I'm not always happy, willing, and ready to pour my heart out and express them to everyone," he says.
"One of the songs I wrote is called 'Afraid With You,' and it talks about that area that I need to grow in and the person, the husband, that I aspire to be. Someone who really listens. Not listening to solve, but listening just to hear and to feel and to make her feel felt and seen," he adds.
Over time, with the help of his songwriting, he learned that it's not a "one and done" and "life evolves."
Someone who inspired that way of thinking is his wife Lorna, whom he's been married to for 11 years now and shares four sons with, Banner Paul, 13 months, Navy Elliot, 4, Lawson Mayer, 6, and Kanaan Crue, 9.
"Obviously a lot of people inspire me for a lot of different things. But, in this particular place of transparency and authenticity, it's my relationship with my wife that has been a beautiful place of struggle and grace," he says of his marriage. "That's what I talk about, really, at the heart of this new song, 'Fake It.' It's talking about how we really allow ourselves to be most loved when we're most vulnerable."
Tauren Wells/instagram The Wells Family
As for his kids — he wants to be the kind of dad that sets an example.
"I want to write songs that my kids can listen to, learn about life, learn about faith, learn about what it means to be a good person. A good human being," he says. "Right now, every night, my kids they want to play daddy's songs. They listen to my music on repeat every night. 'Alexa, play daddy's songs.' I'm like, 'Guys, Alexa does not know that I'm your dad. You have to say my name.' "
He concluded, "If they're listening to the Joy in the Morning album, they're going to hear what it means to be a good friend. They're going to know what empathy looks like. They're going to know that it's okay to feel different things. That makes me really happy."
Joy in the Morning is out now.