I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little excited about this movie:
Warner Bros. is producing a film about Hillsong United entitled Let Hope Rise [lyrics from one of their popular songs]. Their music and influence has reached a level of popularity that a documentary is going to be released in theaters some time in April of 2015. It will take an account of their journey to popularity from a little youth group band to being one of the most prolific worship bands in the world. Obviously, this is being marketed to christians, but it should be an interesting event in pop culture to see how critics, both christian and non-christian, treat the film as a whole. They seem have to have an edge on the keeping up with the “coolest of cool” in terms of breaking new territory in the christian music and worship genre’s.
Here’s the trailer:
I have been working on a New Worship Album with the College & Career Ministry at Faith Bible Church, CITIZENS. We wrote the songs on the Children of Light E.P. to fortify the Fall Retreat theme, IDENTITY, and recorded them as a way embed these lyrics into our minds and hearts as we went back home. The theme revolved around rejecting lies that Satan throws at us through past failures, media, exaggerated romance, and porn to embrace the truths that God has spoken through His word and even specifically to us as individuals. We hope that the ebenezer we have created is honoring to our King and speaks life into those who listen.
All songs are available for free download at Noisetrade.com. Please, check it out and share with your friends!
Zion began streaming free for a short time today on iTunes and I took some time to give it a good listen [album available now]. The new album by the UNITED guys is as beautiful as it is driving. Many of the tracks are filled with crystal clean synths [which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone] and drenched with ambient vocals spilling out catchy melodies and lyrics that connect to the listener. They are delving a little deeper into the ambient, experimental world of electronic blips and atmospheric soundscapes than ever before which I am not complaining about at all. This album, more than any other, seems influenced by bands like M83, Cut/Copy, and Daft Punk which have been on playlists for years. You could see it in their previous albums but Hillsong has shed it’s usual U2 gleanings and fully unleashed the space-pop beast that was lying dormant since the 80’s!
I am a fan of Michael Guy Chislett as a guitarist and a producer from his Hillsong participation to his side projects [The Academy Is…and NO]. The producer in him comes to life with the brilliant sonic layering and the conscious [I assume] choice to move more towards the electronica genre instead of a guitar driven album!
There is a new female vocalist, Taya Smith, who has such a strangely interesting tone and style that I was immediately captivated by it. Her voice has elements of soul with strong phrasing placements and volume dynamics which made her parts stand out powerfully, especially the song Oceans [Where Feet May Fail].
Love Is War stuck out to me as one of the best songs on the album. It begins with a stream chimes and pads that walks you into a thick wall of synths. It’s propelling and keeps a steady pace through the rest of the song. Lyrically it has a desperation of someone who is fighting to cling to God through trials and joining in the fight alongside God.
Personally, the most attractive thing about Hillsong UNITED is their ability to draw a theme together inside of their albums. It’s almost as if a parade of individual songs is being rallied around a single vision. Each song has it’s own identity AND has a connection to the greater picture being painted by the album as a whole. Here is the track listing for the album.
- Up In Arms
- Scandal of Grace
- Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
- Stay and Wait
- Mercy Mercy
- Love Is War
- Nothing Like Your love
- Zion (interlude)
- A Million Suns
- King of Heaven
I caught this band a few months ago and loved their sound. The entire EP is worth listening to for some fresh new worship sounds. They seem to have a foot in both the folk/acoustic world and the electronic. Here is the newest takeaway video from the Finochio brothers [glad nobody got killed in the making of this video]:
It’s not new but it’s still one of my favorite songs and I’m glad that OSS put out a killer video for it!
I am loving the worship band The Royal Royal right now. The lyrics, for the most part, are straight-forward praise songs but the music and harmonies are killer! They seem to have a knack for creatting Indie-electronic creations that translate well into stripped-down, folk versions. Their EP is on iTunes now if you want to hear more. I looked them up on their website which redirected me to the Paradigm Collective [which includes John Mark Mcmillan, All the Bright Lights, and Brooke Fraser]. It’s worth reading to hear their story and testimony about growing up in church [from a more positive angle]. It also revealed that they were connected to Matt Crocker who is one of the “newer” members of Hillsong United!
This is an acoustic version of Praise Him. Enjoy!