Release Date: September 18th 2020
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)
- Good Things
- Thank You For The No
- Safe Here (Acoustic)
- Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok) [Acoustic]
A couple of years ago at the end of 2018, BEC Recordings signed worship leader Tasha Layton – the latest artist in what seems to be a signing spree. Matty Mullins (now signed to Black River Christian), Stephen Christian, Jorge (now known as George Mhondera), Aaron Bucks, River Valley Worship and London Gatch were all presented a spot on the label in 2018, while Brian Ortize, Free Worship and Battledrums were signed to BEC Recordings in 2019. Lion & Bear joined the label roster this year… all the while Kutless remains the last ‘older and familiar’ band on the label. Yet this doesn’t mean Tasha was added to the roster just to make up numbers nor for the sake of it. Rather, with Tasha’s debut EP Love Running Wild; let me just inform you all, that Tasha’s five song project, comprising of already known hits “I Belong To You”, “Sound Of Heaven” and “Love Lifting Me”, plus two new melodies; are compelling pop melodies that add something a bit extra to the BEC Recordings roster. You can read our review of that EP here, and with Tasha’s vocals being simply extremely powerful and strong, moreso than any other debut artist in my opinion; what do you think is my opinion on Tasha’s latest EP Into The Sea, which released this past week? Maybe I’m biased, but I reckon that Tasha’s sophomore EP is one of the strongest debut EP’s I’ve heard this year!
Opening the track listing is the heartfelt piano ballad and short but punchy 3 minute tune “Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)”, a track whereby Tasha encourages us to hold onto Jesus and to trust him with all of our heart, relaying that ‘…though the mountains may be moved into the sea, though the ground beneath might crumble and give way, I can hear my Father singing over me, “It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok”…’. The perfect opener especially during COVID-19 where everything is uncertain, Tasha brings to us a song of hope, comfort and encouragement, as we can lean on God always and rest in His promise of security and surety. While God has said to us time and time again that everything is indeed going to be ok, it is during this time of chaos and social distancing, when we need this track the most. And while we can read the more in depth review of the single from my brother, as well as quotes below from what Tasha has said about the song; let us marvel at the exquisite songwriting ability of Tasha- the track is definitely enhanced and amplified in a good way by the acoustic version of the track as well!
I have a 2-year-old son and when he falls and scrapes his knee, or when he is scared, or when he is sad, I take his little face in my hands and I look at him and say, ‘You know what buddy, it’s gonna be ok.“ I wrote this song during a time when I was facing a lot of heartache, worry and stress. I was crying out to God, just like my little son cries out to me. When we question if God is still in control and still good, Psalm 46 says that even if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea, that He is our refuge and our strength, a present help in trouble. When your world feels like it is completely upside down, remember, it is going to be ok.
I’ve received many comments like, “We really needed this right now,” or “This is so timely in our world!” One woman wrote to me and said she is normally a very happy and positive person but because of the pandemic, she and her husband have found themselves quite the opposite… scared. They are now unemployed with four children. She told me she heard the song on the radio and froze as she was listening. She’s had the song on repeat and has been in tears as she has allowed God to take away the fear she is feeling right now. She says it was like she wrote the words herself. Stories like this are certainly motivating for me to continue down the path I’m on, as I see God using the songs to draw people to Him.
When we wrote the song, I think all of us writers were accessing what I call “dark nights of the soul” in our lives. Personally, I was drawing from some experiences I had when I was searching in my faith and felt desperate for a change—especially in the verse that says, “I’ve blamed myself and if I’m honest maybe have blamed you too.” For a long time, I thought the outcomes in my life were solely determined by how good of a person I was or because God “had it out to get me” if I messed up. I’ve since recognized the error in my theology and realized how far from the truth that is.
I hope when people hear this song, they are able to access the most honest thoughts and emotions they’re feeling right now and truly hand them over to God. I hope they sense God assuring them that no matter what they are facing, it’s going to be OK.
The rest of the track list, although brief, still inspires, impacts and stirs up positivity and optimism. “Good Things” is a straight up radio friendly pop song through and through, as Tasha emphatically relays to us that Jesus Christ has good plans for us in store, and that at all times, we can ‘…praise You through it all, even before the miracle, believing when I cannot see, I know that You have good things planned for me…’; while the mid-tempo vibrant acoustic guitar led “Thank You For The No” is essentially that- a prayer thanking Jesus for the ‘no’, for not allowing certain things into our lives at certain times in favour for something a whole lot more fulfilling, satisfying and in Him plans. Confrontational and perhaps controversial, Tasha’s song is bound to garner discussion around the topic of God taking control over suffering and the pain in our lives… and why should Tasha be thankful for something bad? Yet while there is discussion about difficult topics like these through this song, I reckon “Thank You For the No” has served its purpose. The final track is an acoustic version of “Safe Here”. Almost acapella (except for light electric guitar!), the vulnerability and honesty here is the same as the studio version on Tasha’s debut project, as this reflective ballad/prayer earnestly relays to Jesus that He is our safe place, and that He is our refuge.
Over the past couple of years where ‘new’ artists released songs and albums, such as artists like Austin French, Riley Clemmons, Aaron Cole, Ava Max, The Young Escape, Gabby Barrett, Koryn Hawthorne, Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton, Caylee Hammack, Aaron Bucks, Pat Barret, London Gatch, MDSN, Brandon Lake, Chris Rezema, Lydia Laird, We The Kingdom and Mack Brock; Tasha Layton’s latest EP stands tall amongst the rest of these melodies and projects, as she continues on in her mission to make Jesus’ name famous, and to point people to Him. Though we don’t know for sure when Tasha’s full length debut album will release (it has to be sometime in 2021, right?), we can still jam out to these 5 anthems (and the previous 5 anthems on the first EP!) until such a time when an album does surface. And let me tell you, until that time, I will keep on listening to these tracks and tell people of Tasha’s thoroughly engaging and inspiring tracks. Well done Tasha, can’t wait for you to release your full-length album and bless us all with more songs! Fans of Hannah Kerr, Natalie Grant, Kari Jobe, Sarah Reeves and Mia Fieldes will love Tasha Layton!
3 songs to listen to: Into The Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok), Good Things, Thank You For The No
RIYL: Caitie Hurst, Natalie Grant, Hannah Kerr, Sarah Reeves, Mia Fieldes, Britt Nicole, Ellie Holcomb