Fair Trade Services
Release Date: December 8th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Freedom Hymn
What do you reckon is the most impacting, or popular, or respected, or heard of hymn ever? Amazing Grace? In Christ Alone? Blessed Assurance? Jesus Paid It All? Or Maybe Holy, Holy, Holy? Whichever timeless melody resonates with you the most, there’s no denying the fact that Christian artists these days love to reinvent the definition of the word ‘hymn’- so much so that now we have the word ‘modern hymn’, of which I think songs like “10 000 Reasons” (Matt Redman), “Glorious Day” (Casting Crowns), “Abide With Me” (Matt Maher), even “I Can Only Imagine” (MercyMe), can be classified as such within the next 10-20 years. Enter in yet another artist, who has offered up his own interpretation of a modern hymn, and what it means to fuse together modern worship with a hymn-like atmosphere.
Austin French has recently signed to Fair Trade Services, and his debut single is “Freedom Hymn”. Releasing in December last year, “Freedom Hymn” could sound a bit ‘egotisical’ is you want to call it anything, as it may sound like Austin is declaring ‘oh this is what I think a modern hymn should sound like!’, but a look deeper reveals a humble heart and a passion for Jesus that is unwavering and so deep. Gospel in nature, Austin blends together soul, jazz, pop, CCM, worship and the hymn genre together, creating his own brand of thoroughly enjoyable music, as he praises the Lord most high. Exclaiming that ‘…this is the sound of chains breaking, this is the beat of a heart changing, this is a song of a soul forgiven…’, we are presented with the notion that Austin wants to create a song that can be sung in the good times, and in the bad times, for now and into the future. A song that we can claim as our own song, “Freedom Hymn” highlights the fact that we as believers can declare freedom over our circumstances, because Jesus Christ has won and He is with us all the time. And it’s also a song that we can unequivocally cry out no matter what we are feeling, and guaranteed we will feel better and more joyful after the 3 minutes and 8 seconds. Call it the power of God on this track, but whatever it is, Austin will definitely go far if he keeps creating songs of this calibre!
“…At the end of the day, there are songs, productions, t-shirts, and a thousand small details that are a part of this journey, but the most important thing to me, and my reason for breathing, is to serve and worship my King and Savior, Jesus Christ. That’s why I’m in this. And I hope that when people hear my music or come to a show that they see and hear the Gospel in action, saving me currently and reaching out to their reality…” Becoming a star through the ABC reality TV show Rising Star, Austin French is definitely a new-ish artist to keep an eye out for. If his upcoming Fair Trade Services debut album is anything like “Freedom Hymn”, then the upcoming project will take the world by storm and impact the lives and hearts of many. So what are you guys waiting for? Check out the ‘future modern hymn’ if you want to call it that, and marvel at the wonder of Austin’s high quality songwriting skills!
RIYL: Selah, I Am They, MercyMe, Finding Favour, Israel Houghton