Release Date: October 26th 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Grace, Grace (feat. David Leonard)
- He Made Me He Loves Me
- Oh My Soul
- Love Conquers All
- Draw Me Close
“…When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be well?” ‘ John 5:6…today is my 30th day without a drink. “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible” Do you want to be well? Are you worn out? Are you stuck? Are you weary? I was. But I want to be well. I want to recover the best version of myself and I have a whole lot of reasons. That’s why I write the new number on my hand every day. I want to remind myself of why this matters. Reasons like my wife, my kids, my family, my church, my community, my music, etc. Today can be the day that everything changes for you. Are you afraid of what that means? Are you afraid of not following through? Are you afraid of failing yet another time? I was too, and still feel that way some days. But you’re not alone. I for one would love to walk this road with you. The world needs you, the best version of you and my friend, Hope is alive. If I can do this, I believe you can too. Don’t be overwhelmed, all it takes is for you to do the next right thing, one moment at a time. Choose to accept healing. Choose to be well. I’m being transformed and I want that for you too. My friends, don’t lose heart. Your best days are ahead of you. Grace + Peace…” This above quote from Ben Kilgore imparting to us something so personal to him, is I reckon partly the heartbeat of up and coming husband and wife duo Ben & Noelle Kilgore’s debut project A Resting Place EP which releases today. Boy, is this EP quite magical, impacting, emotional and personal! With a production level and lyrics and musical reminiscent of the now disbanded group All Sons And Daughters, I am certain you will be impacted by Ben and Noelle’s first batch of 6 songs. Recently signed to Integrity Music, sky’s the limit for these two, so I’d say pay attention, cause you’re going to hear plenty of them in the coming months and years!
Written with David Leonard (formerly from All Sons And Daughters), lead single and EP opener “Grace, Grace” snuck up on me in a very good way- and is now quickly becoming one of my favourite worship songs of the year (alongside “Reckless Love”, “Stand In Your Love”, “Living Hope” and “You Say”!). Led by light acoustic guitar, the mid-tempo worship anthem is structured like a hymn of old- sounding like a 90’s or early 2000’s worship track; but that’s not a bad thing by any means. While only having one verse (with the second verse being actually the first verse repeated again!); Ben and Noelle sing together in perfect harmony, as they fervently impart to us that Jesus’ grace is greater than all of our sin. Lyrically, it’s nothing new we haven’t heard before; however the delivery is quite unique- plus the fact that David Leonard is back, and back like All Sons And Daughters were still going. Though I still don’t really know much of Ben & Noelle Kilgore; I reckon with a song like this- a reimagining of the hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin”- I don’t think knowing their background would make me like the song any more or any less. The fact is that this track will be just as impactful is Chris Tomlin or Kari Jobe or Hillsong Worship were singing it- and that doesn’t diminish Ben and Noelle’s efforts- it just means that there’s something in this song that is transcendent beyond the artist; and that is the power of the Holy Spirit.
As David Leonard adds so much more to this track that I could ever imagine, this track is nostalgic too, as it makes me think of the now defunct All Sons And Daughters, and marvel at how great that band was, and how good Ben and Noelle could be if they are to be as half as good as All Sons And Daughters. But Ben and Noelle have recorded a song for the ages, and are a duo that we all need to look out for in the coming months and years, with the rest of the EP equally ad impressive. “He Made Me He Loves Me” is as vulnerable and earnest as any song from this year, as Ben and Noelle ardently declare across captivating keys that Jesus loves us because He made us, and we are His children; while the almost-acapella hymn-like track “Abiding” imparts to us that sometimes in the busyness and troubles of life, all we can do is to just sit and be with Jesus- as He abides in us and we in Him.
The piano led “Oh My Soul” is next, and isn’t a cover from Casting Crowns, but rather an original melody; but essentially relays a similar message, as we are met with an eloquent and sombre prayer led by keys declaring that Jesus is to be praised, and even our soul yearns for our Creator and Maker to be lifted up on high. The EP ends as quickly as it began though, which is a shame, and we are presented with “Love Conquers All”, a soft acoustic guitar led track reiterating that Jesus’ love conquers over every adversity (maybe a Christian version of Carrie Underwood’s “Love Wins”!); and “Draw Me Close”, a piano led original melody (yep, not Hillsong’s version!) that once again is of similar theme to it’s more popular namesake, as we ask God to draw us closer and closer to Him- as the more and more we can be near Him, and more and more we can be like Him and live more that way Jesus wants us to.
As an EP, Ben & Noelle Kilgore’s release is solid and one of my favourite EP’s of 2018, however with the duo sounding a lot like All Sons And Daughters, Michael Farren and Alisa Turner; many listeners may bypass the release all together (considering Chris Tomlin’s new album drops today also!). my advice though would be take a chance on A Resting Place EP– and I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised! No doubt quite a few of these songs may be re-recorded and be made more popular by other artists- however until such as time as Ben and Noelle do become bigger than they are; let’s just marvel at what talented songwriters and singers they are, and let us sing along with honesty and real emotion as well. Well done guys, I can’t wait to hear more of your new material! I am sure others will be inspired and blessed also!
3 songs to listen to: Grace Grace, Oh My Soul, Love Conquers All
RIYL: All Sons And Daughters, Alisa Turner, Martin Smith, Corey Voss, Kari Jobe, Chris McClarney, Michael Farren