Release Date: March 10th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Today is a New Day
- Beautiful Grace
- Perfect Love
- Thinking About You
- Way Beyond These Eyes
One of the most underrated artists that I have grown to love and enjoy listening to over the years, with his songs “Father”, “What If”, “Nothing Compares”, “Surrender”, “Shine” and “Let It Go” resonating with many listeners, singer/songwriter Jadon Lavik, previously signed to BEC Recordings, has been one of my favourite artists of late, with his heartfelt lyrics and inspiring melodies reminding us of God’s faithfulness and love for us. His most recent project Summer Sessions EP released this week independently; and on the back of his hymns album most successful hymns album Roots Run Deeper; how well does the project of 5 original songs stack up? Pretty good, if you ask me, let’s dive in to see how the album pans out!
Opening the mini-album with the resounding “Today Is A New Day”, an acoustic guitar folk/country genre song, that has Jadon passionately praising Jesus, and singing about the joy and beauty of creation, as ‘…today is a new day, shine, shine down, chase the clouds away, You cover us with grace…Jesus on display…’. Also giving us reassurance and hope that we can make it through life with God on our side, and encouraging us through banjo and ukulele to ‘…lift your eyes up to the skies above, everything will be alright…’, this jovial and happy-g0-lucky opener sets the tone musically and thematically for the rest of the album!
The electric guitar rocker “Beautiful Grace” is a little out of genre for Jadon, as he channels his inner Dan Haseltine voice, as he passionately and eloquently sings about the grace of God, and the fact that it is freely given even when we do not deserve it. Reminding us that we have ‘…beautiful grace over me, Your love has set me free…you’ve stolen my heart, and each day is a brand new start…’, Jadon cleverly utilises themes from the hymns “Amazing Grace” and “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” and even uses words from the famous John Newton tune in the bridge, which is pretty cool. Following on from the worshipful anthem, which is one of my favourite songs on the EP; another melody about the extent of God’s love “Perfect Love” is next, which is led by the keys. A mid tempo ballad where Jadon prayerfully and honestly highlights that God’s love is the only thing in this life that helps him through any tough situation, we are given hope and peace beyond understanding, Jadon cries out that ‘…when my hope was running dry, I was led, led by Your star through the night, then came love, like a promise, always for us, so ordained, waves of love crash upon us, this is perfect love here today…’. What a brilliant chorus that has me singing at the top of my lungs over and over again, well done Jadon for providing us with an emotional and vulnerable melody sure to provide solace and healing for all who listen.
On the surface, the acoustic guitar melody “Thinking About You” sounds like a relationship based song, with Jadon singing about his wife, but on a deeper level this short but powerful and captivating melody can be sung about Jesus too. The ambiguous chorus outlines that ‘…everywhere I go, I see your face, I can’t stop thinking about you, tomorrow feels so far away, so I’m dreaming about you now…’ and with no overt reference to Jesus in this song- only nuances and subtlties, this melody can be applicable for people in all walks of life; well done Jadon for writing a song that is all inclusive of people of all faiths.
The final tune on this too-short EP (which finishes even before I realise it has started!), is Jadon’s latest single “Way Beyond These Eyes”, inspired by the film Beyond Sight and the true story of blind surfer Derek Rabelo. Reminding us that our spiritual sight is more important that what we can see in the physical realm, this mid tempo guitar based pop melody is a perfect way to end a brilliant EP, as we put our faith and trust in God more, allowing Him to move in our lives, directing us to where He wants us to go.
Though Jadon Lavik’s new EP is only 5 songs long (or short, depending how you look at it- I for one believe that the EP could have used more songs…), Summer Sessions EP is a great album, one that can be listened to, not just in summer but at all times of the year. Reminding me of singer/songwriter Paul Colman in his writing, Jadon has brilliantly displayed his gift of songwriting, and is sure to wow us again with future albums! Well done Jadon, I pray that many people are blessed by this album and future recordings in the coming years!
3 songs to listen to: Beautiful Grace, Perfect Love, Way Beyond These Eyes
RIYL: Paul Colman, Jars Of Clay, Third Day, MercyMe