Provident Label Group
Release Date: November 20th 2015
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Newport– Chasing Your Heart EP (iTunes/Amazon mp3)
- Chasing Your Heart (Radio Version)
- Chasing Your Heart (Extended Radio Version)
- Chasing Your Heart
- Chasing Your Heart (Acoustic Version)
- Chasing Your Heart (Radio Version Instrumental)
‘…worship is hugely integral to who we are, and I think the songs that come out of the House really express the spirit of the House. We very much wanted our church to be a place where people could connect with God in a meaningful way. That’s always been far more important to us than just writing great songs; and because of that, I feel that the songs have just gotten better…’ Formed by Pastors Jonathan and Diane Wilson, who were on the Hillsong Team staff for 28 years until the Lord called them to move to America and plant a church in the heart of Orange County, California (which is now called Newport Church, on Newport Beach); Newport released their first album on Provident Label Group in 2015, with much success on a critical and commercial scale. While I know there are a fair share of worship bands, worship ministries and worship movements all vying to bring their music out into the world (Planetshakers, Hillsong Worship, UNITED, Young and Free, Passion, Jesus Culture, Bethel Music to name a few), the introduction of Newport is another group that, while seems to be similar in that they bring to the table something that I reckon Hillsong Young and Free could also bring, nevertheless still have hearts for the Lord, and their music is something that can be loved if you enjoy any of these aforementioned worship bands above. Signing to Provident instead of Capitol CMG or Integrity Music (which is where most worship bands sign when they do sign to a major label); Newport’s song “Chasing Your Heart” was a standout on their 2015 album, so much so the band has released an EP solely having “Chasing Your Heart” in all its unique recordings on this 5 track collection. While this EP could seemingly be as redundant as the Oceans EP Hillsong UNITED released a few years back, I reckon this song, from listening to it several times, could have the potential impact that “Oceans” currently has, give or take a few years’ time.
With only one song on this EP, “Chasing Your Heart” draws parallels to the EP Hillsong UNITED released a few years ago with only “Oceans” on it, to heavily promote that song. And in Hillsong’s case, it worked. “Oceans” is by far one of UNITED’s most loved and enjoyable songs they’ve ever done. Has it worked for “Chasing Your Heart”? Maybe. While Newport has just released their first album, as opposed to UNITED’s four studio albums (Zion, Aftermath, All of the Above and Empires); “Chasing Your Heart” has the musical layering and the passionate vocals for the song to go very far in both a worshipful sense (I can envisage many churches around the world taking that song and bringing an anthemic feel to Sunday morning worship services) and in a corporate sense.
Vocally sounding like Melodie Wagner from Hillsong Young and Free, Newport bring to us a lively melody that encapsulates a theme of chasing after the heart of God, a thing we sometimes forget or even sideline intentionally in favour of what we strive for. The chorus where we hear the lyrics, that ‘…I won’t stop chasing Your heart…’ is both comforting and confronting, as we know full well that God is indeed who we ought to chase after, while also knowing that we don’t chase after God 24/7, for whatever reason.
With five versions of the track (radio version, live version, extended radio version, acoustic version and instrumental), “Chasing Your Heart” is one of 2015’s best kept worship song secrets, and it probably wouldn’t surprise me at all if the song sneaks onto WOW Hits 2017 (possibly as a bonus song on the deluxe version of the compilation). While the EP may be redundant, considering the advent of Spotify and iTunes playlists nowadays, we see a unique representation in song about what it means to chase after and run after all that God is, in our lives and that of others. It is because of “Chasing Your Heart” that I reckon will propel Newport and their ministry forward in months to come. Kudos to the band for such a song that is catchy as well as poignant, and one that’ll be on my iTunes playlist for a while yet!
3 songs to listen to: Chasing Your Heart (Extended Radio Version), Chasing Your Heart, Chasing Your Heart (Acoustic Version)
RIYL: Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, Hillsong UNITED, Hillsong Young and Free