Big Future Records LLC
Release Date: August 13th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Little Bit More
- Tell Me The Truth
One of the newer CCM artists I’ve been listening to is singer-songwriter Abby Robertson. Out of Nashville, Tennessee, Abby has opened for the likes of The Beach Boys and Switchfoot, performed in International Music Festivals in Israel, Malta, and Ethiopia, released pop music and country music…all before her 20s. There’s not really much info on Abby at all (except her bio page on her website, and you can all read it at your own leisure), and so this ‘review’ of sorts, I’m kinda flying blind. Nevertheless, this promising young vocalist has become a unique find for me- and maybe in a similar way to how I initially thought that both Rachael Nemiroff and Leanna Crawford would have big careers when I heard both of them years ago (and both predictions have turned out to be true!), I can safely see a similar pathway to Abby and her music. Signed to a big major label in the future or not? Who knows, but what I do know is this- that her brand new EP that released yesterday, have delivered songs (especially ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Everyday’) that have become very infectiously enjoyable earworms as Abby’s powerful voice has reminded me that you don’t always have to be popular to have your music be enjoyable. Still in her early 20s and delivering such quality music in these 5 songs; we see Abby’s future in CCM (and any other music genre she delves into) looking very bright.
‘Sanctuary’ released in February 2021, and is a track about us declaring that God is our sanctuary, our refuge, our hiding place and where we ultimately seek comfort and hope in. Not necessarily your ‘theologically deep’ or ‘spiritually profound’ track at all, but for me, it’s these moments like ‘Sanctuary’ that remind us all of the need of us continually to always come to God with us knowing that He’s going to be our first thing we run to, not only in times of difficulty but also in times of joy and happiness too. Most times, we declare God as our sanctuaries during times of trouble, but I’ve found during this track, that I’ve been able to sing this song during moments of everything-going-right as well, that ‘Sanctuary’ and declaring God to be our sanctuary need not only apply to when we’re down and out. God is our sanctuary at all times period, and while it can seem very weird to declare such a song as this, during our euphoric and happy times, I’ve found that I’ve been doing exactly that, and it is in this frame of mind and understanding, that I’ve come to appreciate this song for what it is, a worship song. ‘Everyday’ dropped digitally in May 2021, and thematically, goes a little deeper than ‘Sanctuary’, and reminds us with these poignant lyrics, that often, we just go to God when we need something- and like I feel ‘Sanctuary’ also addresses, we declare the words of how God is our sanctuary, only during times of need and trouble. ‘Everyday’ encourages us out of that mindset, and into one where we long for Jesus’s presence each and every day, that we come to Him not just when we need ____, but there is an importance in needing God daily rather than just in the valley, or in some other cases, just on the Sunday (and not any other day of the week). As Abby herself explains the story behind the song, ‘…Brandon [co-writer and lead singer of I AM THEY] came into the room with this idea and it was just so refreshing to hear it. We have these tendencies to only come to God when things get hard and we only ask for help when we are struggling. We tend to forget that when things are good we should be asking Him for help as well. In the beginning of the song, the lyrics open with ‘I’m sorry for my tendency to only speak to you when I’m in need of something.’ That line resonated so hard with me and changed my perspective and honestly, my relationship with God. It’s not something I come to just when I’m struggling now, I go to Him all the time. It’s one of my favorite songs lyrically and I hope people can relate to it. It’s a simple reminder to matter what it is, we should always be running to God and give Him our hearts…’
The rest of the EP is as emotive and poignant as the previous aforementioned 2 tracks, and delivers a solid 5 track EP that firmly places Abby and her music into the CCM world with much promise and expectation. ‘Worry’ features light looping percussion as Abby delivers the emotive and heartfelt words of us not having to worry, because of how God has been (through examples in our own personal past, and through the Word of God) faithful, and still continues to be to this day- Abby’s song is just a tad over three minutes, and while the song itself isn’t as engaging as a song like ‘Sanctuary’ or ‘Everyday’, ‘Worry’ nevertheless still delivers a theme that is very much swept under the rug these days. Discussing this issue of worry generally seems to come off as either trivialising or even dismissive, and yet this song seems to do neither- Abby has created an emotive anthem that tackles such a sensitive subject head-on and give us comfort in the fact that ‘…I dont have to worry anymore, even when my heart is heavy, even in the chaos of the storm…’. Even though our circumstances command us to worry, we won’t, because we know that ‘…time and time again you always came through, You keep reminding me that i dont have to worry…’ The EP then rounds out with new songs ‘Little Bit More’ and ‘Tell Me the Truth’- the former is an upbeat song that implores us into understanding that we need a little more love, forgiveness and hope for the world during times like these, while the latter evokes a feeling of comfort and encouragement, as Abby allows us to be convicted in the understanding that God tells us the truth- that what we’re worth isn’t tied to what we do. Or as the chorus of ‘Tell Me the Truth’ declares, ‘…You tell me the truth, tell me the worth that I have isn’t wrapped in the things that I do, I don’t have to hide, these imperfections I carry, they all disappear in your eyes, You love me just as I am, right here where I stand, this world can try to sell me those lies, but I’ll listen to You, cause You tell me the truth…’
So there you have it…Abby Robertson EP by Abby Robertson. Though not a household name at all, I predict she will be in the upcoming years. Just like how artists Leanna Crawford, Lauren Daigle, Rachael Nemiroff and Riley Clemmons before her, so too do I reckon Abby Robertson will follow suit, in becoming one of CCM’s most impactful in years to come. But who am I to say? I’m just a ‘lowly’ reviewer, right? Check out this 5-track EP and see for yourself. For anyone who loves CCM, or enjoys similar artists, like Riley, Rachel, Leanna, or Lauren’s music, then this music is a must. Who knows, maybe with a few listens through on this EP, we can discover a future CCM superstar in the making?
3 songs to listen to: Sanctuary, Tell Me the Truth, Little Bit More
RIYL: Lauren Daigle, Riley Clemmons, Rachael Nemiroff, Leanna Crawford