Release Date: January 27th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Not Our Home
- Psalm 42
- Words Of Life
- The Way I Should Go
Reminding me vocally of All Sons And Daughters as well as I Am They, folk/pop/CCM indie duo Jonathan And Emily Martin, consisting of husband and wife Jonathan and Emily, have recently released their brand new EP Not Our Home, on the heels of their popular and successful EP Set Your Eyes in 2013. With both Jonathan and Emily exhibiting unbridled hearts for worshipping Jesus and with their passion for furthering the kingdom of God infectious and admirable, as evident in these 5 songs, no doubt labels and listeners should take notice of this talented and special man and woman of God, as I am certain that in the future we’ll be hearing a lot more from these two, whether it is through a label signing or through more and more albums. So let’s sit back, and enjoy the acoustic and reflective melodies with both Jonathan and Emily singing in harmony beautifully. As we speak briefly about these 5 tracks, you can see why this is one of my favourite EP’s of the year so far alongside offerings from Jadon Lavik and Sidney Mohede.
Opening the track list is the vibrant and energetic acoustic guitar driven mid-tempo anthem “Not Our Home”- the title track, where Jonathan leads magnificently, and where the duo proclaims that this world is not our home, and that we’re waiting in eager anticipation for Jesus to return so that we can be with Him in our forever home in heaven. As the duo ardently cry out that ‘…woah, this is not our home, we’re seeking one that is to come…we’re headed for the Kingdom…’ against a backdrop of hand claps and raw emotion, I am able to wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that we should fix our eyes on heaven and things eternal, and while we are on this earth, to live for Jesus and point people to Him, never losing sight of the end goal. Well done Jonathan and Emily for a stirring EP opener setting the tone for the rest of the album!
A 5 song EP isn’t that long, but Jonathan and Emily make this track list work and sound like a full album through their brilliant harmonies and honest lyrics covering quite a lot of material, from uplifting worship songs to confronting material about the way we live life. “Psalm 42” is piano acoustic ballad that swells to an epic crescendo and orchestral moment in the middle of the track, and is a vivid picture of the Psalm as Emily leads this prayer and passionately reminds us that God is our Refuge and Redeemer, our Saviour who has our best interests at heart. While Emily reminds us that ‘…as the deer pants for the water, my soul it burns for You, I’m dry and Lord I’m weary, oh how I long for You, You are the living water, You are the living God, I cry before You Father, You tell the thirsty to come…’, we are given reassurance that God is always with us and will never leave us.
“Word Of Life”, led by Jonathan, is a mid-tempo worship anthem led by the electric guitar, that reaffirms that everyday God and others around us are speaking life into us, a concept similar to Tobymac’s smash hit single “Speak Life”; while the sombre, contemplative and reflective slow tempoed piano ballad “Meaningless”, inspired by Ecclesiastes, turns our views on meaning and purpose on their head, as we remember that everything we do in this life will not have as much weight or substance as our relationship with Jesus, a much needed reminder to place God first, and to make time for Him in and around our busyness! While the EP closer, which serves as a reminder that Jonathan and Emily need to record a full length studio album soon, is one of my favourite songs on the EP and from Jonathan and Emily’s entire discography and is a fantastic way to end the project, as I long for more songs from the inspiring and humble duo.
“The Way I Should Go” is led by acoustic guitar, and is sung by Emily, as she eloquently highlights a prayer that we should pray, as we ask God to help us in our daily walk with Him, and in everything we do. As Emily asks God to ‘…teach me the way that I should go, for You’re the only one that I trust with my soul, my every step is in your grace, teach me to walk in Your ways…’, there’s a sense of calm and a peace as I dwell and mediate on the ever true words. God is here with us, and He will always help us in any situation, and if that’s the only takeaway message that you all receive from this album, then Jonathan and Emily Martin’s album is a success! Well done guys for 5 songs of brilliance that has me singing at the top of my lungs again and again!
While Jonathan and Emily Martin may not be well known now, I am positive they will be in the future. All three of their EP’s so far have been quite powerful and deserving of many listens, and as far as 2015 is, this EP stands tall amongst other enjoyable albums and EP’s from Third Day, Kevin Max, I Am They, Hawk Nelson, Passion and more! For fans of contemporary worship artists and acoustic/folk bands such as I Am They, All Sons And Daughters, Love And The Outcome, Meredith Andrews and Christy Nockels; both Jonathan and Emily have delivered near flawless vocal performances and have brilliantly conveyed their messages of worship and faith, of remembering who it is we live for, and what it is we should keep our eyes fixed on! Well done guys for such a powerful and compelling EP!
3 songs to listen to: Not Our Home, Psalm 42, The Way I Should Go
RIYL: All Sons And Daughters, Meredith Andrews, Christy Nockels, Love & The Outcome, I Am They