Release Date: April 14th 2017
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
It’s hard when artists cross over and record an album (or song) that is not in their ‘natural genre’. Like Stephen Christian, ex-lead singer of the now disbanded Anberlin releasing a worship album on BEC Recordings later on during the year, or Hillary Scott last year, lead singer of Country trio Lady Antebellum, releasing her debut Christian album Love Remains, garnering success and critical acclaim in the months afterward. Artists are sadly ‘pigeonholed’ into a certain genre of music, and any such deviation from this and we as listeners’ pounce, attacking at every turn. Still, we realise that often, artists who do make such a genre shift ought to be commended, branching out into genres they’ve never tried in the past is bold and encouraging to many, listeners and fellow musicians and bands alike. Enter in new artist Mallary Hope, who for years was within the country music scene, and is now venturing into Christian music with her debut Christian song ‘NOW’. Signed to Curb Records, home to powerhouse CCM singers Natalie Grant and Plumb, and a lot of other pop artists; Mallary released this 3:20, country-infused pop-CCM anthem with such enthusiasm and grace on April 14th, that when I hear this song, my mind casts back to Hillary and her chart topping hit “Thy Will” last year. Maybe there is such a trend where country artists venture into Christian music for a season as the years roll by? Possibly, we shall see. Mallary’s track is full of hope and encouragement, that it doesn’t really matter what her musical background is, the song speaks for itself, that the same God who was with us in our pasts is currently with us now in this very moment!
‘…My goal since I was a little girl, was to make music that touched people. This song is about my journey to where I am NOW. Where God has brought me….He’s been with me through it all, but most days, I was trying to lead the way.. Once he opened my eyes to surrendering MY desires, HE changed my heart to love what HE wanted for me.. In case you are wondering, or going something similar, just go ahead and surrender. Life is SO much better, and you will have this amazing peace when you are walking by faith, instead of by sight. I could not be more excited and THANKFUL for this music…’ This quote from Mallary herself posted on her Instagram a few weeks ago is the essence of what the song ‘Now’ is about, looking at life through the lens of God’s eyes, and seeing the fact that He who was with us countless times before when we were struggling or feeling discouraged, is with us now and always, till the end. Often during times in life, we may find ourselves in places we never thought we’d end up, and often it’s through faith in God alone, placing one foot in front of the next and trusting that He has a plan bigger and better than we can ever fathom, that we can truly move out from the rut we often create ourselves when we’re in the presence of the pit.
Still, Mallary uses such a song as “NOW”, alongside 2 Corinthians 5:7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight), to encourage us in our Christian walk, that our faith in Jesus ought not to be based upon emotion or what we may be feeling at a certain moment, but rather, on what we know to be true, even if we don’t know how or why such events have occurred in our lives thus far. As Mallary continues to encourage on her Instagram, ‘…I hope when you hear this song it inspires you to keep on going! Sometimes God’s plans for us, are not what we had in mind,but I promise they are so much better…’ A song full of hope and encouragement for the future, Mallary’s track is a must have if you enjoy inspirational songs with a country-style edge, like Hillary’s album Love Remains last year- if you enjoyed that album, then you’d enjoy ‘Now’! While Mallary’s popularity may be a while before it will be at the stage of Hillary’s popularity, her song ‘Now’ firmly puts her on track to become one of my favourite new artists of 2017 thus far (alongside Grayson Reed, Zach Williams, Jake and Laura and The New Respects). Well done Mallary for such a poignant and heartfelt song, can’t wait for the full length album whenever it releases this year!
3 songs to listen to: “NOW”…as many times as you want
RIYL: Carrie Underwood, Hillary Scott, Natalie Grant, Avalon, Karyn Williams