Release Date: November 4th 2014
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Living God
- Song Of Joy
- Your People
- Jesus Made A Way
An energetic modern rock/worship band from Dallas, Texas, Bright City Lights released their debut EP in early November this year. With a big heart for Jesus and a mission to serve God and seek His kingdom first, Leo Loughmiller, Matt Cass, Tanner Robinson and Cory Smith have delivered a strong debut that has a myriad of sounds and genres explored. At times sounding musically like Kutless and Jeremy Camp, and other times like Tenth Avenue North and Chris Tomlin; it is the vertical worship lyrics that draw me into these songs most of all. While some may dismiss the indie band as another rock/pop/worship carbon copy of many other established artists on labels, personally I think there’s something extraordinary about these new artists. What is it that makes me enjoy the 15 minute EP? Well, let me tell you all!
The rocker and electronic/dance piece “Living God” opens proceedings, and packs a big punch, as we are reminded of both Capital Kings and Sanctus Real musically and vocally. With the electric guitar being at the forefront, there’s a high octane and frenetic 30 second intro, before lead singer Leo explodes into praising God and declaring that ‘…we serve the living God, His promises endure forever, He taught us who we are, He showed us love and He sent a Saviour…’. At times I received a headache from the abundance and volume of the instruments (perhaps that’s because I am reviewing this album at night time before I go to sleep), however there’s no mistaking the hearts of the band members. They are clearly on fire for Jesus, and it shows through their honest and vulnerable songs, as they inspire us and encourage us through the God given lyrics and eternal truths that never change.
“Song Of Joy” is a bundle of fun, as we are met with a slew of electronics, programming and remixing effects as Leo puts on his Tenth Avenue North, Stellar Kart and Owl City hats musically and vocally, with the smidgen of Hillsong as well. With the song being about how joy springs up from our hearts through song because of the things God has done for us in our lives, that we can’t help but share our testimony with the intention that God draws others close to Him; Bright City Lights have recorded a brilliant song, filled with cheerfulness and celebration towards God in gratitude, as we proclaim ‘…You are the reason for the song I sing, the song I’m singing…’.
With the pop/rock/CCM “Your People”, led by the captivating bass, and moving electric guitar, being a worshipful melody of adoration, Leo passionately reminds us that God has set us free, and that ‘…we will keep our eyes on You, we will be Your people, Your nation, one holy generation…alive in You…’; a statement that we should all cry out if we are to be serious about our faith and our beliefs- serving God wholeheartedly is an outpouring of our love for Jesus, and Bright City Lights have shown us that God is great and deserving of our praise and adoration to Him. The title track, the most CCM of the EP, ends the album, where the synth sits at the forefront, and Leo does a Jon Steingard impersonation. With overt lyrics that highlight the change that occurs in us when Jesus enters our life, because ‘…Jesus made a way, there is hope and power in His name, He can bring what’s dead to life, we will never be the same, for our hearts are made new today, yeah our love can be revived…’; I find myself singing along at the top of my lungs and emphatically agreeing with everything the band put forward. What a great song to end the EP, with an edifying message that is catchy musically as well. Well done Bright City Lights for a sublime EP that will be on my iTunes rotation for a while!
Apart from the track list and duration being too short (here’s hoping for a full length album soon), Bright City Lights have recorded a thoroughly enjoyable EP that has elements of worship, pop, rock, CCM and electronic music all infused together. An EP that shouldn’t slip under your radar, there’s only one thing to do now, and that’s listen to and/or buy these near flawless 4 songs! You will definitely find something to enjoy!
3 songs to listen to: Living God, Song Of Joy, Jesus Made A Way
RIYL: Hawk Nelson, Tenth Avenue North, Sanctus Real, Kutless, Abandon