Release Date: September 16th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- Get Bright
- Carry The Fire
- Eyes On You
- Sound Of The Beat
Recently signed to Fair Trade Services, new up and coming worship band Fellowship Creative released their debut label album Running To Follow in May this year, with plenty of upbeat and slower paced worship tunes for the church and personal worship. Born out from Fellowship Church, which was founded in 1990 by Pastor Ed Young, the worship part of the ministry has always been revolving, with the label debut album on Fair Trade Services showcasing many young and up and coming artists’ song writing and vocal talents, while also pointing people to God and His love. As Fellowship Creative promote diversity in age, ethnicity, skill level, Biblical knowledge and many more, the result on the record are sounds that transcend many different styles, with plenty of rockers, ballads, both female and male fronted tracks as well as each track bringing something new and fresh to the table, and this trend carries on to their new EP The Mix: We Will Riot. A taster for maybe a full length album in 2015 or 2016, this new band reminding me in style, lyrics and vocals of Hillsong Young And Free and Desperation Band, are one to listen out for and really take notice of come the year’s end.
The first song on the EP is “Get Bright”, which was filmed as a music video earlier this year. A laid back piano led electronic dance track with similar beats and synth to Capital Kings or David Thulin, the experimental bundle and ball of energy has simple lyrics (some would say that this song is pretty cliché or cheesy), yet backs an extreme punch with the powerful words in the chorus ‘…we are the light of the city, and we’re gonna get bright now…’. It’s such a simple concept, to shine a light for the world to see and so that everyone can be made aware of God’s goodness, and it’s pretty cool to see the band making their faith known from the get-go, and reminding us who it is we stand and are living for!
“Carry The Fire” (nope, not Andrew Peterson’s acoustic ballad of the same name!), is instead a mid tempo rocker driven by a strong bass line. As the band proclaim that ‘…us together, nothing’s stronger, we’re burning bright with Your fire inside, so let the riot begin…’, they emphatically outline that we as Christians need to spread the gospel, carry the fire, and show God’s love wherever we go as part of the Great Commission and our desire to see His Kingdom come on earth as in heaven. Still maintaining the dance/electronic/remix vibe and feel, Fellowship Creative have created a gem of a track to follow up on the hard hitting and musically aggressive album opener!
With “Follow” being a mid tempo guitar and bass dance anthem, that I can imagine will be fun to sing at live concerts, the band are raucous in celebratory joy as they proclaim that we will follow Jesus till the end of our days, as His love never quits on us, and Jesus never gives up on us. The penultimate offering on the short but still poignant and captivating EP is the musically experimental “Eyes On You”. Featuring a captivating female vocal beautifully singing the chorus (reminding me of Joy Williams) and verses spoken out as raps (sounding very similar to Lecrae); the theme of the track is a gentle prompt that Jesus has us in the palm of His hands, He is faithful, and that ‘…in the darkness You got me, when I stumble You got me, but I won’t be afraid cause your love never changes, you’re mine forever…’.
The EP ends with the up tempo, electric guitar and bass led party, jazz, soul and funk infused “Sound Of The Beat”. Featuring stirring gang vocals, a heavy gospel presence, as well as some raps, a call and response section where the band sings out ‘…to the right, to the left, take it back, three steps, throw your hands up, in the air, go woohoo, let them know you’re here!…’, as well as inspiring lyrics about praising God for who He is; this song is fitting to end the EP with, as it expreses the heart of who Fellowship Creative is and their heart for Jesus. Though this EP is short, every song is a winner, and this definitely shoots into one of my favourite EP’s of 2014!
With such variety musically, vocally and lyrically (how many vocalists are present here? I’m not entirely sure but there are a lot, and they are talented!), Fellowship Creative have recorded a fantastic mini-follow up to their label debut! While their anonymity in personnel and members, as they have a revolving door of musicians, staff and singers attached to this project and previous independent albums, could mean that the band doesn’t individually receive recognition for their God breathed anthems that they so deserve; this notion of not knowing the band members has led me to listen to the song lyrics a bit more and soak in the presence of God, something which was probably one of the intended goals of Fellowship Creative. As this new EP tightens the group’s refreshing sound, and also has me applaud Fair Trade Services for signing the group in the first place (even though this EP is released independently); I definitely look forward to new material from this musically diverse and genre diverse band of sisters and brothers in Christ! Well done Fellowship Creative for matching the bar that was set high, let’s hope they can match it on their full length sophomore album, or even beat it!
3 songs to listen to: Carry The Fire, Eyes On You, Sound Of The Beat
RIYL: An Epic No Less, Capital Kings, Sanctus Real, Planetshakers, Hillsong