Release Date: April 8th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Sold Out
- Overtake Me
- War Cry
- Living Out Loud
- Through Your Eyes
- Puzzle Piece
- I Love You More
- Loud Generation
- When Forgiveness Wins
- Wanna Be
‘…So why Love Collide? It is representative of the most basic foundation of our faith which is The Cross. The Cross is where God’s incredible LOVE for us, COLLIDE(d), with our wretched sin. When we finally understand the depth of love God had for us, we cannot help but fall more in love with Him and that is when our abundant life begins…’ Indie duo LoveCollide, formed with sisters Lauren and Brooke DeLeary, just might be my favourite indie artist/band of 2014 so far. With vocal ranges similar to Tricia Brock and Alyssa Barlow of the now disbanded Superchick and BarlowGirl respectively, these girls have crafted what is arguably one of the most standout acoustic pop albums of late, and are certain to be a part of the future of female fronted CCM bands, and a great substitute if you miss both these aforementioned defunct bands.
Borne out of a desire to be a band just like their heroes from BarlowGirl (ironically, Brooke and Lauren DeLeary sound strikingly similar to Alyssa that at times, you can be forgiven to think Alyssa was singing), these sisters and their self-titled debut are sure to bring up some nostalgia for many fans of the Fervent Records sister group, as we are given yet another duo to add to a long list of ever impressive Christian duo groups, from All Sons and Daughters, The Sonflowerz and Gungor, to Love and the Outcome, Capital Kings and Copperlily. From first single “Sold Out”, to heartfelt ballads “Through Your Eyes” and “Numb”, and power-pop radio friendly melodies “Rave” and “Loud Generation”; these sisters in Christ are certain to be signed in the future (if that is what the duo wants) as we are reminded of the great quality of indie Christian pop in the music industry currently.
First single “Sold Out”, standing at 2:46 and opening the album, is a great melody to begin an album full of enthusiastic pop and harmonious vocals akin to something you’d hear from the Leander sisters Becca and Elisa from The Sonflowerz (in fact, I reckon if you’d fuse BarlowGirl, Superchick and The Sonflowerz together, you’d get LoveCollide!). With acoustics and a striking drum beat, we are met with a melody that encourages us to be sold out for Christ and His calling for us, and while at times in the chorus there can be repetition- ‘…I’m sold out, sold out, every single move I make is Yours now, Yours now, that’ll never change…’, the band’s message is still focused- that everything we have is worth less than the joy of knowing Christ our Saviour.
“Wanna Be”, “Livin’ Out Loud”, “Rave” and “Loud Generation” are the remaining tracks, alongside “Sold Out”, that stand at below 3 minutes each in length, and while each of the tracks are shorter than I initially thought songs would be in general, their poignancy is still unrivalled when compared to the rest of the songs on LoveCollide. “Livin’ Out Loud” is a great acoustic pop track that reminds us to live ‘…out loud, not holding back, the time is now, to give all I have…’, as both Brooke and Lauren call us to live without fear with the acoustic guitar, light electrics, and drums as the key instruments; while “Wanna Be” has some great vocalisation between the two sisters as the theme of wanting to be real, honest, true and passionate about life is brought through on this nearly three minute track, and last song on LoveCollide, and “Loud Generation” follows a great power pop musical backdrop as we are met with an enthusiastic call-and-response type melody- with LoveCollide encouraging us all to be loud and enthusiastic for the gospel, especially in this generation (even channeling 1 Girl Nation and their passionate singing style a la “Live For You” in the bridge).
“Rave” employs the electronic keyboard as its prominent instrument in a pop melody that encourages us to rave and declare to everyone we know that ‘…I’m gonna clap my hands, I’m gonna stomp my feet, I’m gonna take a stand for the praise of the living King…’ (in my opinion, that bridge I quoted sounded very pureNRG-esque when I heard it), and Lauren DeLeary has some great rap vocals on “Overtake Me” in the bridge, with the song being a powerful one in how we as Christians ought to allow Christ to take us over in everything we do- setting ‘…a fire inside my soul, for your glory, a kinda love I can’t control…’ (ironically, Lauren’s rap vocals sound strikingly similar to the voice and rapping skills of Lauren Taylor-Bach, a singer in 1 Girl Nation, a band where LoveCollide sound similar to in “Love Generation”). “I Love You More” presents a rock-folksy background as both Brooke and Lauren present a Tricia Brock-esque vocal and proclaim that they love God more than anything else in the world, and becomes the pivotal ‘rock song’ on the album, and “Puzzle Piece” is a great rock-worship anthem reminding me of something The Sonflowerz would record on their 2008 album All Over the World, as both Brooke and Lauren present a theme of how God is the piece that fits the puzzle which is the lives we lead. Both “I Love You More” and “Puzzle Piece” are great rock anthems that utilise great harmonies and stellar electric guitar performances.
While the band offer up great worshipful power-pop anthems and energetic acoustic pop worthy to be enjoyed by any CCM fan, it is the heartfelt ballads of LoveCollide that really stand out amongst the rest- “Numb”, “When Forgiveness Wins”, “War Cry” and “Through the Eyes”. With light acoustic guitar strums to begin “War Cry”, both Brooke and Lauren harmonise beautifully to present a moment of declaration in how the song, full of encouragement, hope, faith and confidence, is our war cry and point of recalling God’s favour on us when we’re in difficult circumstances; which flows on towards synth driven ballad “Through the Eyes”, which speaks about identity and the knowledge that ‘…I am worthy, I’m not worthless, I’m a treasure, Yours at last, I will trust You with my story, with my future and my past…’ (and my pick for second single from the album and one that will fit very well on the radio).
With ballads “Numb”, a song based on personal experience and speaking encouraging words of finding light at the end of a journey and knowing that the numbness someone feels is only temporary in the eyes and comfort of the Father; and “When Forgiveness Wins”, a song describing the benefits of forgiving someone instead of holding onto bitterness and anger, ending the album in great touch; LoveCollide have presented to us an album with rarely many disappointments (even though a fair few of the songs are less than 3 minutes each). And at first glance, with LoveCollide’s 12 songs only a tad over 35 minutes, I initially thought (before even listening) that LoveCollide’s short album meant the quality of songs weren’t that great.
While I wrongly thought that less in length meant less in poignancy and enjoyability, what really transpired from my listening to the 12 tracks was a moment of encouragement and poignancy that made my own preconceived ideas of the band and the songs turn on its head. Both Brooke and Lauren have crafted something beautiful, making LoveCollide one of my favourite indie artists of 2014 so far (alongside others like Hillary McBride, Becca Bradley, Beth Hazel Farris, Chayah Miranda and Michael Boggs). Well done to the DeLeary sisters for such a poignant and heartfelt album!
3 songs to listen to: Through the Eyes, When Forgiveness Wins, Livin’ Out Loud
RIYL: The Sonflowerz, Superchick, BarlowGirl, Rachael Lampa, Britt Nicole