The Summit Church Music
Release Date: July 22nd 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- The Now and the Not Yet (feat. Hank Murphy)
- United (feat. Luke Brown and Hank Murphy)
- Magnificent (feat. Kelby Dover)
- You Never Let Us Go (feat. Hank Murphy)
- Hallelujah (feat. Kelby Dover)
Not since EP’s like Lex Anderson’s Undone and Jordan and Kristin Rippy’s Seek You First have I felt such enjoyment, enthusiasm, emotion and encouragement from a debut EP than I have with Summit FutureNow’s The Now and the Not Yet. Birthed out of Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina; this intensive, explosive, all things energetic and passionate 5 track EP is enough to make any worship music fan (like myself) proud to call themselves that. Within a sea and plethora of many worship artists and bands, there have always been a few that stand out- either because of popularity or because of talent and actual quality, or both- with artists like Phil Wickham, The Sonflowerz, Paul Baloche, Tim Hughes, All Sons and Daughters and Crowder topping my list of worship artists and bands that continue to break new ground and the mould of what worship music should be and what it should sound like.
Enter in Summit FutureNow, with their debut worship EP released July 22nd. While only comprising of 5 tracks, their heart for worship ministry is still felt in each of them, and will be a perfect gift for anyone who loves modern worship music, especially those who love the energy and enthusiasm of worship bands like Fee and Planetshakers. From the first single and title track, to powerful standouts like “You Never Let Us Go” and “Magnificent”, this is an EP to purchase, and listen to on repeat as we hear some ingenious and powerful worship songs that can hopefully ignite a new generation in their pursuit of God’s love and everything He has for us!
The first song and first single from the EP, “The Now and the Not Yet” is a powerful melody that encourages us to delve deeper and reconcile between the now and what we see with our eyes, and the not yet- the things we’ve hoped for, what we want to happen, everything we wish things could be but aren’t because of whatever reason that is preventing us to see what we envisage a reality. With electronic keyboards, effects, and a powerful worshipful undertone still, makes this opening track one to be enthralled and enthused with, especially when Hank Murphy, the lead singer, reminds me of lead singer Josh Havens from The Afters, and Steve Fee from his previous band FEE. While at times throughout the track we have a glimpse of remix effects a la Capital Kings (that can create a disjointedness at some points on the song), the theme nevertheless provides us with a thoughtful and emotive melody that encourages us to believe that ‘…because of grace, there is a day, everything will be new again, we praise your name in between the now and the not yet…’
Hank leads on a further two melodies- 3 minute dance electronic “You Never Let Us Go” (an encouragement to all as a reminder that God never lets go in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in), and “United”, a creatively crafted infusion between worship and rap that gives us confidence that ‘…we are united by the love of the one who set us free, the one who overcame for you and me…’ Rapper Luke Brown and his vocal similarity to KJ 52 or Flame is also a nice addition to “United”, even though it would’ve been just as good without him as well.
Singer Kelby Dober lends his voice to the remaining two tracks on the EP- “Magnificent” and “Hallelujah”. Lyrically simpler than the previous three, this does not detract from the obvious poignancy shown through these song titles- that sometimes all we can do is just declare God to be as magnificent as He is, maybe even shouting ‘hallelujah’ in the process. With Kelby having a slight British accent (is he British?) and an also slight vocal similarity to North Point Music artist Eddie Kirkland; we are met with powerful themes- immeasurable grace and mercy in “Magnificent”, and a fervent declaration of God’s goodness in our lives (“Hallelujah”). A great way to end the album on a fun and upbeat note, “Hallelujah” is a timely reminder of our role in the story of God- to give Him praise in whatever we perform or achieve. Well done Summit FutureNow for these two tracks, and some of the most unique songs on an EP in 2014 so far.
The first EP by Summit FutureNow is a winner in my books, and while I had virtually known nothing about the worship movement prior to me listening to this album, I am rather intrigued in listening to Summit Worship after hearing FutureNow (like how Hillsong United or Hillsong Young and Free) are an arm and extension of Hillsong Worship). A great EP to listen to and purchase if you are a fan of artists from North Point Ministries, or artists like Hillsong, The Afters or Chris Tomlin; The Now and the Not Yet EP is a fresh, poignant, enjoyable, fresh and unique set of songs to listen to in this mid-year climate. Well done guys for such an encouraging EP, with some of the most easy to learn and accessible songs throughout 2014 so far!
3 songs to listen to: You Never Let Us Go, The Now and the Not Yet, Magnificent
RIYL: Steve Fee, Eddie Kirkland, The Afters, Hillsong UNITED, Chris Tomlin