Utah’s viral father-daughter duo is releasing a debut album. Here are the 13 songs
Putting together their first album, Mat and Savanna Shaw knew they couldn’t leave out “The Prayer.” That was the song that started it all eight months ago.
That was the song that started it all eight months ago, when, from their kitchen table in Kaysville, the daddy-daughter duo belted the duet made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion.
At the time, they didn’t think the video of that performance would reach beyond their close friends and family — in fact, if they had known how big it would become, they probably wouldn’t have done it in the first place.
But to their surprise, the numbers kept rising. To date, that YouTube video has 7.6 million views.
The Shaws quickly caught attention from “Good Morning America” and “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” Now, after months of several duets, the duo is releasing their first album on Oct. 23. The album, called “Picture This,” is currently available to pre-order and will be available on most streaming platforms.
“This has been a long time coming,” Mat Shaw told fans Sunday afternoon. “I honestly never thought that we would have these kinds of opportunities to have our music and our message be out there. … Thank you for allowing us to have this opportunity.”
The Shaws went over the album’s tracklist and detailed the significance of the 13 songs, a combination of fan requests, songs they love and suggestions from Stephen Nelson, their arranger. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
“Fly Me to the Moon”/“Come Fly With Me”
- This mashup, initially released in August, was Savanna Shaw’s choosing. The 16-year-old described herself as an “old soul.”
“I Hope You Dance”
- “I Hope You Dance” came as a suggestion from Nelson.
- “I love how this one turned out,” said Brooke Shaw, Mat Shaw’s wife. “It’s really fun to hear it sung as a duet, too.”
- This is the one original song on the album, as well as the album’s title track. “Picture This” tells the Shaws’ story of their unexpected rise to fame. The duo started writing it in July.
- “This song is about just being brave, and what if all it takes is a moment believing, a single moment of courage, putting yourself out there, and you just never know what will happen, what kinds of opportunities, what kinds of dreams will come true,” Mat Shaw said. “Where you’re trying to picture what the future could be, and sometimes it’s scary and it can go either way, but you just decide to take that leap of faith and do it.”
- The Shaws are releasing a music video for the song on Oct. 23, the day their album comes out.
“You Raise Me Up”
- The Shaws said “You Raise Me Up” was the most requested song among fans. The duo initially released their version of the song in August.
“What the World Needs Now is Love”
- This song was also a request from fans, and the Shaws first released their version in September.
- “That message is so perfect for the world that we’re living in right now,” Savanna Shaw said. “I just felt like we needed it on our album.”
- Nelson, the Shaws’ arranger, recommended that the duo sing Colbie Caillat’s “Try.”
- “To me, it brought a whole different meaning coming from a dad and a daughter,” Mat Shaw said. “You don’t have to try so hard to fit into the box that the world tells you you should fit in. You can take your own authority, be your own person.”
- Savanna Shaw said she’s long been a fan of Mandy Moore. “Only Hope” comes from the movie “A Walk to Remember.”
- This song about remembering family members who have passed on comes from the Disney-Pixar film “Coco.”
“Let it Be”
- The Beatles tune was the first song the Shaws recorded in a professional studio — a major step up from the makeshift studio they formed at home in their closet. The father and daughter first released “Let it Be” as a single in July.
“Gone, Gone, Gone”
- This Phillip Phillips song was another suggestion from Nelson. The Shaws admitted they were initially hesitant to give this one a try, but it ended up becoming a favorite.
About 11 years ago, the Shaws attended a recital where they heard a man playing and singing “Hallelujah” on the piano.
- “I remember sitting there just spellbound,” Mat Shaw said. “I wished I would have recorded it.”
- That man was Nelson, who now provides song arrangements for the Shaws, and, in a bit of a “full circle” moment, will be contributing his vocals to the Leonard Cohen classic.
- The Shaws also already have a rendition of “Hallelujah” with Peter Hollens.
“Tonight You Belong to Me”
- This is a catchy song the entire Shaw family enjoys singing.
- The Shaws are ending the album the way their journey began, with “The Prayer.” This version, though, has a “twist” and is unlike the one they released in late February, or many of the versions out there.
- “The arrangement is like nothing you’ve ever heard before,” Mat Shaw said, adding that the song continues to be “timely.” “There’s a lot of fear and anxiety and uncertainty, and ‘The Prayer’ is just such a beautiful song. It’s a prayer from a father and a daughter for life to be kind, to hold close those you love.”
It’s been eight months since the Shaws went viral, but the family continues to be amazed by the wide reach of their music.
- “It means a lot just to be able to be in a position now — especially in the times that we’re experiencing with this pandemic — to be able to share these messages of hope and encouragement through music,” Mat Shaw previously told the Deseret News. “Never in a million dreams would we have ever thought that our music would have this kind of impact. That’s been the best part.”