The Dailys Music / Tone Tree Music
Release Date: January 15th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Bring You Home (feat. Jillian Edwards)
- Be Kind (feat. Ellie Holcomb)
- Falling Apart (feat. Ellie Holcomb)
- Fill This Cup (feat. Jillian Edwards)
2020 has been full of musical surprises. Needtobreathe released arguably one of the most cohesive and articulate albums to date, and their album Out of Body has impressed critics and listeners alike; while for KING AND COUNTRY unveiled to us their chart-topping and life-affirming single ‘Together’ featuring gospel legend and superstar Kirk Franklin and pop/gospel crossover artist Tori Kelly. Natalie Grant released her comeback album No Stranger to rave reviews and a heartfelt Casting Crowns cover in ‘Praise You in This Storm’, while another prominent female voice in CCM, Rebecca St. James, also made a comeback to music, with her EP Dawn unveiled to us in July 2020. Both Aussies Guy Sebastian and Delta Goodrem created ‘comeback’ albums T.R.U.T.H. and Only Santa Knows respectively, whilst Josh Groban, arguably one of the best in his field of pop-opera, unveiled to us Harmony in November 2020, an album of primarily covers, alongside two new songs ‘Your Face’, and ‘The Fullest’, the latter being a collaboration between himself and gospel legend, Kirk Franklin.
Enter in another feat of 2020 that has been a little unexpected, to say the least; the duet that we as fans of Christian music never knew was possible. Ellie Holcomb and Jillian Edwards, both rising singer-songwriters within the realms of folk and CCM, have come together to collaborate on their debut EP project, titled The Dailys, and under the moniker The Dailys. Both Ellie and Jillian have had respectful careers in music thus far, and both have reminded us all of the much-needed place of folk and acoustic singer-songwriter within music in general. We as a site reviewed albums from Ellie Holcomb and Jillian Edwards recently (the reviews for Constellations and Sing: Remembering Songs can be viewed here and here, while the Meadow review can be seen here) and so for a new release from a ‘new’ artist The Dailys was something very much to be excited for. And so the verdict? Definitely a listen if you’re a fan of Ellie’s music, Jillian’s music, or both.
Standing at 4 tracks, The Dailys unveiled to us their first single, ‘Bring You Home’, in October 2020. A song that is sung from the perspective of God (or just someone who’s willing to travel off-course in their own journey in life, in order to help someone else in their journeys at the expense of their own); ‘Bring You Home’ is a reminder of unconditional love that we receive from our Father in heaven, and also the love that we should receive (and do in most cases) from our family and close friends- one of sacrifice, and putting someone else’s needs above your own. To bring someone home means to go out of your own way, and maybe even at times forsake a dream of yours, in order to help the other person- sort of like a Good Samaritan story, or even one like the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, or even the Prodigal Son. Whatever the case, this is the story of what is being presented in the song, that someone willing to break their hearts to make us whole, to lose their way, in order for us to find our way home, is someone I want to know, and know to the fullest that I can know someone. ‘Bring You Home’ is a song that cuts to the deepest of what a friendship should look like based on unconditional love and support. While the song itself plays more into Jillian’s vocals compared to Ellie’s (the song itself is led solely by Jillian), the song was one of the bright sparks of 2020, and a great reminder that the singer-songwriter genre is still alive and well and is a great alternative to the constant radio CCM bombarding the radio stations on a daily basis.
‘Falling Apart’, ‘Fill This Cup’ and ‘Be Kind’ are the three other songs present on The Dailys, as both Jillian and Ellie present folksy lullaby-ish tracks that remind us that sometimes, stripping back the electric guitars and focusing much more on the lyrics, is something that needs to be employed so that we can soothe ourselves into the songs much more, and have the music and lyrics permeate the soul, rather than the overproduced sounds of pop and rock flooding the markets nowadays. Not that there’s anything wrong with those genres, it’s just that sometimes, reflection and introspection can only occur if and when the noise is gone and we’re left with the revealing lyrics and our own thoughts. ‘Be Kind’ is track #2 and follows along from ‘Bring You Home’, as Ellie presents a quasi-upbeat track full of pulsating bass as we hear this reflective melody about how ‘…everyone you meet was little, everyone you meet has grown, everyone you meet is wondering how to get back home, the first breath that we take here, well, it comes out as a cry, so when the tears roll down we remember we’re alive, so be kind, we can be kind…’, while Jillian lends her voice to the lullaby ‘Fill This Cup’, a track that is as calming as it is tranquil and emotive. Presented in a lyric video as a way of quite possibly being a song to be played to children while they sleep; ‘Fill This Cup’ is a song of longing, to be full of energy, grace and love in order to keep going in life, to be full when empty, to be rejuvenated when feeling joyless and emotionless. ‘Falling Apart’ is the remaining song on this EP, and this one, presented by Ellie, is by far, the most vulnerable song on the EP, as she presents this persona that is crying out that they are falling apart, but trying very hard to keep it together. ‘Falling Apart’ is an honesty song, allowing us to be honest with ourselves that we are indeed falling apart more often than maybe we even care to admit…and that’s ok. For this song, and much of this EP, is one of hope and honesty, one of peacefulness and tranquility, all the while, these songs are being presented in a folksy way, a reminder that the singer-songwriter genre is alive and well.
While the only drawback for this EP is that it is a tad too short, the quality of these songs definitely makes up for the EP only being 4 songs. Each of these tracks have something to say and each of these songs are different, musically, and thematically, from the rest. While there is no song on this album showcases both Ellie and Jillian in a duet setting, both these singers nevertheless have reminded us that great female artists in folk/CCM is something the music industry is worth striving towards. An EP that is by far one of my favourites of 2021 so far (alongside Phil Joel’s upcoming one, being unveiled on Friday 22nd January 2021), this is nothing less than a masterpiece from both Ellie and Jillian, two underrated singer-songwriters of this generation thus far. Well done guys for this collection of four songs…maybe a full-length album in months and years to come?
RIYL: Steven Curtis Chapman, Jillian Edwards, Ellie Holcomb, Sixpence None The Richer, Ginny Owens, Bethany Dillon, Lindsay McCaul