Release Date: February 5th 2015
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- North Star
- Let a Little Light Out
- Beautiful Surrender
‘…the songs that I chose for the EP are songs that express honest, real life emotions and how God is always so present in all of that. I fully believe in the truths that these songs share, and I want people to see and experience the hope of God through them. My desire is for these songs to encourage, inspire, and comfort people no matter where they are on their journey and walk with God…’ Pop/worship artist southern Californian native Keeley Reed’s new EP Let a Little Light Out is one to take notice of, especially with vocal similarities to that of Yancy or Tricia from Superchick, as we are reminded that CCM female fronted pop music is alive and well throughout this 4 song EP. With each of these four songs capturing the theme of hope beyond our circumstances, it is when I was browsing through noisetrade the other day that I stumbled upon Keeley’s previous EP, leading me to check out samples on iTunes and thus hear snippets of her 2015 music. Her lack of not being known by many is made up through her enthusiasm and passionate vocals, with Let a Little Light Out being my favourite EP of 2015 so far!
With a looping drum beat and hand claps, “North Star” opens the project, and reminds us that it is central and crucial that Christ is our ‘north star’, that it is He who we turn to in circumstances that are beyond our control. With this song perfect for anyone who may be in a season of transition, doubt, and a loss of direction; we are given the truth in this first song that God never changes, even if we believe He does when we’re in the midst of the trials and struggles we are in. Jovial and happy, powerful and poignant, Keeley’s melody ought to help us fix our eyes on Christ our Saviour, knowing that ‘…You are my north star, Lord I know I gotta keep my eyes fixed on You…when I’m walking in the middle of a world so crazy…’ Title track “Let a Little Light Out” continues to bring us a catchy melody with the Leslie Jordan (one half of All Sons and Daughters) penned song giving us impetus to bring forth God’s light ourselves to everyone we meet. Synth driven, this 3 minute 13 second short but equally inspiring God-moment is one that ought to encourage us to let our lights and lives shine, even during the moments when we don’t feel like shining ourselves for whatever reason.
“Why” and “Beautiful Surrender” are the two remaining songs on this near perfect EP. Keeley voices her vulnerability in “Why” as we see a song that is birthed out of life’s disappointments and how God never abandons us during the times we need Him the most- the pain, heartache and queries we long to ask God will always be answered, regardless of what we see or even believe at that particular moment; while EP ender “Beautiful Surrender” ends on a CCM/radio friendly note with a piano prominence to it. Similar in lyrical style to Chayah Mirandra’s “Beautiful Mystery”, it is when we surrender to God’s plan and know that Christ has our path paved out for us that we can rest and freely live our lives knowing that what we do or don’t do will always be shaped by God to make us the men and women He has called us to be. As spoken by Keeley herself, ‘…life is beautiful, but it is also difficult. Instead of running away from pain we experience, we can run to God with it and surrender it all to Him because He wants to care for us on our journey…’
One of the best collection of EP songs I’ve heard since EP’s from Jenny Simmons and Kerrie Roberts last year, Keeley brings us a powerful moment that is all too briefly finished in a flash as these 4 songs paint us a picture of God’s grace in the most difficult of situations. Relatability and a powerful voice, Keeley’s EP is one to enjoy if you are a fan of similar artists like Yancy, Ellie Holcomb or Canadian duo Love and the Outcome. While not that familiar within the mainstream section of CCM; it is only a matter of time before this songstress delivers melodies that’ll be heard by many around the world. A certainty for the future when it comes to female CCM singer/songwriters; Keeley has given us 4 songs to be proud of hearing and enjoying for months and years to come. Well done Keeley for such a terrific and emotive EP!
3 songs to listen to: Let a Little Light Out, North Star, Beautiful Surrender
RIYL: Yancy, Superchick, Ellie Holcomb, Love and the Outcome