Release Date: November 27th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- My Family’s Crazy
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Comprising of House of Heroes frontman Tim Skipper and his wife Stephanie (who recorded as a solo artist a while ago under her maiden name Stephane Smith), singer/songwriter acoustic/pop duo Copperlily have taken the world by storm, with their EP’s Love Is a Legend and The Beautiful Unseen as well as their self-titled debut album, all receiving praise from listeners and critics alike. While House of Heroes is a Christian rock band, as I’m sure all or most of you are aware, Copperlily is on the other side of the spectrum. Yes, this is a mainstream group (should I really call it that?), with a more subdued, reflective, acoustic sounds, who’s primary objective, rather than to explicitly praise God, is to instead sing songs about human relationships and the human condition, letting God do the work in the lyrics, as people are drawn to Him in a more covert way.
Yet Tim and Stephanie have ‘broken their mould’ so to speak, and recently followed various artists this year in releasing a set of Christmas songs (A Very Copperlily Christmas EP), which in essence gives glory to God in a more overt way. How do Copperlily walk the line and find the balance between overt and covert? Regardless of your style of music, and whether you listen to primarily Christian music (like me) or listen to a wider variety of genres and styles, Copperlily is a duo that you don’t want to miss out on listening to. Both Tim and Stephanie harmonise just as good as any other husband and wife duo, and both remind us through their poignant singing in this EP, that though Christmastime is a time for meeting with and catching up with family you haven’t seen for years, it’s also a time to reflect upon the fact that our very purpose and the meaning of this life is tied to the baby boy who was born in a manger all those year ago!
Can you really do much with an EP of 3 songs? Maybe, maybe not. But Tim and Stephanie have a good crack at it! The first song, the silly, nonsensical, acoustic guitar driven “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, at first seems out of place, as it’s about the persona seeing their mother kissing ‘Santa’, which 99% chance is their father; yet a deeper look reveals a set way of thinking that we all need to break out of. Just like the persona who jumped to conclusions when they saw something and didn’t investigate further, so must we wrestle with and search deeper into the true meaning of Christmas. As it is now December, and the ‘crazy season’ has officially started’, we are encouraged in a roundabout way by Tim and Stephanie, not to accept the status quo, and figure out for ourselves what we believe to be true on Christmas. Jesus was born for us, so that we all could live, and that is something we must all face head on at some point in our lives. Just like the persona in the song, we all should face the reality of what Christmas is, and that fact alone, derived from such a simple song, is why Tim and Stephanie should be congratulated.
“My Family’s Crazy”, led by raucous acoustic guitar, is a vivid account of what the holidays would look like for Tim and Stephanie’s families, or for a fictitious family. Regardless, this wacky account reminds us that though we may not always get along with our family, and we may have different views, Christmas brings us all together, so that we can all celebrate, catch up, and forgive all of the wrongs we all have done against each other. While also not a song about Jesus, what Copperlily have recorded here is very multifaceted- a deeper look makes us remember that every family has issues, and every family needs allowances, because…they’re family and they’re our loved ones. So if during Christmas time we care so much about our family, how much more do you think God cares about and loves each one of us? Something to ponder, right?
“O Come O Come Emmanuel” takes the tempo down a bit, however is just as honest, moving and emotional, with Tim and Stephanie majestically proclaiming together in perfect harmony that Jesus is Emmanuel. With the song being a piano centred mid-tempo ballad, with strings added in for variety, this rendition comes in third, behind Third Day’s explosive rock version and Brad + Rebekah’s worshipful rendition. As Tim and Stephanie ardently proclaim ‘…rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel…’, I am filled with wonder and awe at the ease that they can record silly songs as well as serious worship songs!
Copperlily’s Christmas EP, even though short at only 3 songs, is quite enjoyable to listen to, even though I had to look a bit deeper down to find the messages, than other worshipful Christmans albums from artists like MercyMe, Chris Tomlin and Laura Story. Regardless of the lack of theological and biblical imagery and themes (except for the last song!), I have since come to appreciate this for what it really is- great music, with a message of hope, love and perseverance that we all need each day. A standout Christmas release, and hopefully a precursor of what is to come in 2016 (maybe a full length Christmas album) for Copperlily; this is an EP that you don’t want to miss out on if you are a fan of the serious and the silly parts of Christmas. Well done guys for such a vulnerable, revealing, and hopefully impacting Christmas EP!
3 songs to listen to: All Of Them
RIYL: House Of Heroes, Love And The Outcome, Gungor, Jenny And Tyler, The Vocal Few