Release Date: March 25th 2016
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Walk on Waves
- It is Finished
- Maker of Miracles
- Lost in You
- Infinite Grace
- Oh Liberty!
It has been quite a journey for Austin Adamec. After his debut solo album was originally shafted, until 2015 November when it was released independently; Austin is finally releasing his follow up EP, this time with his wife Lindsey Adamec (formerly of 1 Girl Nation), and under the title ‘Austin And Lindsey Adamec’. This self-titled project releasing March 25th (you can stream the album in full on the NRT website) is worship at its finest, and a certain album to look out for in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. Now signed to Radiate Music (after a year and a bit on Provident Label Group), Austin and his wife Lindsey have given us 6 tracks soaked in biblical truths and poetically emotive and encouraging as Austin and Lindsey’s new EP becomes not only a standout in March, but a standout EP in 2016 thus far, on par with others from artists like Rebekah White (Bold Love), Chandler Roberts (The Color EP) and Erik Nieder (The Narrow Sea). From the first radio single “Walk on Waves”, loosely inspired by the story of Peter walking on the waves towards Jesus; to the Easter single “It is Finished” and the bonus track “Oh Liberty!”; both Austin and Lindsey’s heart for worship comes across in the songs with much fervency and intentionality; as both husband and wife invite us into a moment of communion and collaboration with each other as we witness arguably one of my favourite collection of worship songs I’ve heard since Joy Enriquez’s The Call!
“Walk on Waves”, the EP’s first radio single, and one of my favourite worship songs I’ve heard since Joy Enriquez released her latest radio single “Hallelujah” in 2015; starts off the EP with such emotion and heartfelt poignancy- and quite right so, considering the story behind the track. As Austin relays himself, ‘…with endless nights away from each other on the road and a growing whisper in our hearts to root ourselves back in the local church, we were desperate for signs in Scripture that pointed to such a crazy blind faith to step out into the unknown. That’s when the familiar passage of Peter walking on water came to us. In the midst of a massive storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus tells Peter to ‘come’ and walk out on the storm-battered waters…’ As we are motivated by the song to step out into the unknown, all the while knowing full well that God will meet us where we are in our moments of self-doubt and uncertainty, “Walk on Waves”, while an encouragement for the Adamec’s during their own time where there was transition (with Lindsey stepping away from 1 Girl Nation (now stylised as 1GN) to pursue a career with her husband, while Austin moved away from Provident Label Group, not by his own choice, and with much of his musical career uncertain in that regard); is also an encouragement for us listeners as well. To step out into the unknown requires a large amount of faith, and with God with us in the midst of our trials and difficulties, there ought not to be any hesitation, as when Christ says ‘come’, we say ‘yes, Lord!’. Well done to the Adamecs, for a song that was originally going to be on My Only Answer, and one that has become one of my favourite songs of 2016 thus far!
“It is Finished”, the Easter-themed melody full of hope and promise, is also a song that has been inspired by the couple’s long and gruelling times away from each other during their moments when they were travelling as part of 1GN and as ‘Austin Adamec’ all those years ago on Provident Label Group. With a piano and acoustic prominent backdrop, Austin and Lindsey encourage listeners to believe into the fact that what Christ has done on the cross is enough, that ‘…I am Yours, the highest price was paid, and all my works are drowning in Your grace, for it is finished, Jesus it is finished, by the power of Your blood, the grave is overcome…’ What magnificent words to dwell upon! And while the finished product of the melody came from a place of longing for the couple, wanting to collaborate together after not seeing each other whilst they were on tour, we are reminded by the Adamec’s that whatever guilt we feel and shame we condemn ourselves with because of whatever we have felt in whatever situation we are in, is null and void. It is finished, and that is something we need to cling to- ‘…‘It is finished’ meant that the work of Christ put an end to the striving to earn God’s favor. An end to the fears, worries and all the accolades and trophies we were trying to bring to God. All of our works drown in His grace…’ Kudos to Austin for encouraging us with this truth, in a song that closely follows “Walk on Waves” as one of my favourite worship songs of 2016!
Throughout the rest of the EP, we are given songs that similarly encourage as well as comfort as this EP fast becomes one of the most invigorating and lyrically mature and inspiring set of songs I’ve heard in the year so far. “Infinite Grace”, inspired by Max Lucado’s book In the Grip of Grace, similarly expounds upon the themes we’ve seen in “It is Finished”, as we’re reminded in this track as well of the sufficiency of the cross, and how the grace given to us is infinite in every way imaginable. A worshipful song that could easily slot into any Sunday worship set-list seamlessly, “Infinite Grace” is a congregation song, a song for the people, as we as lovers of Christ ought to sing this song boldly and fervently as both Austin and Lindsey passionately deliver the truth, that ‘…Your crimson blood pouring out for us, left a mark that history cannot erase, crucified with thieves, the King of Kings, Your sacrifice a beautiful display of infinite grace…’ “Lost in You”, the most subdued song on the EP, brings together light acoustics and the Adamec’s hauntingly refreshing voices, as the song becomes powerfully worshipful, an one that we can reflect and soak upon, while it is “Maker of Miracles” that is a must-listen and the standout if you were to pick just one song out of the 6.
Co-written with Ian Eskelin and Krissy Nordhoff; the Adamecs wrote “Maker of Miracles” out of a hopeful prayer to see miracles come upon their lives in a real tangible way. Having to believe the words they wrote and sung after Lindsey’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer as well as her dad discovering a large tumour in his lung; “Maker of Miracles” is a testament to the couple’s faith in the midst of trials, and while they are still praying for Lindsey’s aunt (her father is now healed of all such tumours); the song is nevertheless a reminder for us all to declare in the valley that God is indeed the maker of miracles, whether we see the miracle in this life or the next need not be the determining factor of whether we praise Him or not. My favourite song on the EP, “Maker of Miracles” is as powerful and poignant, as it is lyrically sound, and biblically based. The production is top-notch, as you wouldn’t even guess that the song and album were produced independently, just by listening to this song alone. The EP also has a bonus track in “Oh! Liberty”, a song that I originally thought was a patriotic song about America…boy was I completely wrong. A song full of life and vigour as this fast upbeat electric guitar driven song is a praise melody when it comes to declaring God to be the giver of our freedom and liberty- and with a chorus so powerful as Austin reminding us- ‘…oh liberty, Jesus is the one who set me free, oh liberty, nothing in this world can hold me down, all my chains have fallen to the ground…’, who can’t love this song? While the song isn’t available to purchase on iTunes (maybe on their website?…); this is also another song that is one of my favourites, alongside “It is Finished” and “Maker of Miracles”.
‘…we’re just worship leaders from Jacksonville, Florida, who love to sing together, who are married, and who enjoy proclaiming all God is doing in our lives. If we’re going to write about His presence, we have to go there. You can’t take people where you haven’t been…’ One of the most honest collection of songs I’ve heard in a long time, this is a duo that you don’t want to miss out on, and my favourite duo I’ve heard ever since Capital Kings, The Sonflowerz and Love and the Outcome a few years back. Releasing on Good Friday (yet you can now stream the album in full via NRT), with a few Easter-themed tracks in “It is Finished” and “Infinite Grace”, this is a fitting time for the duo to release their new music. While it is nevertheless a bittersweet moment to see Lindsey leave 1 Girl Nation, I am thoroughly excited for the husband-wife duo, and the journey God has placed both Lindsey and Austin on in the upcoming years ahead. A definite for anyone who loves worship music, loves indie music, or both; Austin and Lindsey, with the release of these 6 tracks, are certain to continue their impact to many more listeners in the upcoming months ahead. Well done to the duo for such an honest portrayal of worship music, and one of my favourites, out of any EP and album, in 2016 thus far!
3 songs to listen to: Oh! Liberty, Maker of Miracles, It is Finished
RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Jesus Culture, The Sonflowerz, Bethel Music