Dream Label Group
Release Date: July 10th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Never Alone
- Where Do We Go
- I Can Be The Light
- Wildfire (Matthew Parker Remix)
Signing to Dream Label Group recently, Christian pop/EDM duo Saint Esprit, consisting of husband and wife Michael and Kelly Bibeau, are gearing up to release their debut self-titled EP next week, produced by Elliot Richardson, who previously produced projects from Peter Furler and the OC Supertones. Filled with plenty of musical and lyrical variety, and reminding me of a more dance and more pop version of the duo Love & The Outcome, Saint Esprit’s release of 6 original songs and a remix, is sure to be popular amongst listeners and critics alike, as we praise the name of Jesus alongside the duo. Releasing an album on the same day as Owl City’s first full length album in 3 years Mobile Orchestra, and being one of the first high profile Christian releases to drop on a Friday instead of a Tuesday; let us delve into the passion project from Kelly and Michael. Saint Esprit is here to stay, so let’s be familiar with their music, don’t you think?
Opening the mini-album with the energetic and vibrant piano and synth led dance anthem “Wildfire”, Kelly and guest vocalist Kayla from Shiny Head beautifully sing together in harmony, in one of the musical, vocal and lyrical EP highlights. We are introduced to the theme of God invading our hearts and our lives like wildfire, so that we are changed from the inside out, and subsequently live our lives in such a way that everyone around us can see a positive change. The bouncy, bright and sunny atmosphere in the track as well as the hopeful message of living life to the full, with god at the helm, is enough to have the album opener on repeat many, many times. Well done Kelly and Michael for a captivating opener, and kudos to Kayla for injecting life and energy into this punchy and impacting melody! With the album ending with the remix version of “Wildfire”, by Matthew Parker, mixed to sound more like Owl City musically; I would have to say “Wildfire” is one of my favourite worship songs of 2015!
With the album blending pop, dance, worship and EDM, Saint Esprit’s heart for Jesus is evident throughout the album, as we praise Jesus with this unique duo. Following on from the impressive album opener, is the catchy and musically different “Never Alone”, which seems deconstructed in a way like a remix (except that it isn’t!). With the subject of the melody being a friend singing to another friend about personal experiences, and that ‘…you never know what it feels like, until you’re alone in the daylight…’, we are also given encouragement, with the persona reminding their friend that they are there for them in their current situation, no matter how long they need, that ‘…I’ll sit here with you til it’s alright, you’re never alone in the daylight…’. Also reminding us that God is never far away, so we can call on Him whenever we need to; “Never Alone” lyrically lives up to the reputation gained by its namesake counter part by Barlowgirl, and Saint Esprit should be proud and thrilled with that!
“Where Do We Go” sounds like a party type of song with an high octane tempo and explosive synths, as well as a driving beat perfect for the dance floor. While thematically it took a while and a few listens for me to grapple with my understanding for the song (Kelly’s vocals are inspiring and captivating, but in this song are masked a bit too much with the electronic effects!); eventually I understood the song to be sung from God’s perspective, singing to a new Christian, and giving advice about what we should do with our lives in reference to Christianity. The repeated title track as a phrase in the chorus not only confronts and allows us to ponder, but also allows us to actively seek out what the Christian life should be, and how to go about it with God, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. So thematically this song is pretty deep, congrats to the band for including the song on the EP!
The simply titled “Home”, is anything but, with Kelly and Michael creating their most musically ambitious song yet, with Kelly rapping, and reiterating that our home is found in Jesus. There is imagery abound in the track, as the duo remind us that ‘…like a child in the wilderness, with a dream you could never forget, like a love you will never regret, you’ll find your way back home, like a sun that will never set, don’t stop, don’t intercept we’re the people who can never rest til we find our way back home…’, alluding to the fact that we can always find home in Jesus no matter where we are in life. The penultimate track is the album’s next promotional single, with “I Can Be The Light” being as inspirational as any ballad- the synth and piano driven tune explicitly stating that Jesus is the light of our world, as Kelly unashamedly gives praise to Jesus, reiterating that His love makes us whole and that He is the only light that we need. Saint Esprit’s EP ends with the longest song on the album and a fitting epic worship anthem as well. “Shelter” reminds us that Jesus is our shelter and that no one else can compare to His security. Kelly’s soothing and soaring vocals and admission that ‘…shelter, shelter,You’re the one who covers me…’, is a nice change from the fast paced dance themed songs earlier on in the track list. Hats off to Saint Esprit for recording a vibrant and magical listening experience that has me begging for more!
What more can I say about Michael and Kelly’s inspiring and musically different EP? Other than to explicitly say ‘go and buy the album when it drops in a few days!’, there’s nothing much more, other than what I have stated in this review. Though at times musically busy, the honest and heartfelt lyrics ensure that the 7 song project will be enjoyed by many who listen! Well done Kelly and Michael, I can’t wait for future Saint Esprit releases!
3 songs to listen to: Wildfire, Home, Shelter
RIYL: SHINEBRIGHT, Jonathan Thulin, TobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Owl City