LoveCollide: Tired of Basic

To kick off this series, I chose the bold and powerful duo LoveCollide. It consists of two sisters, Brooke DeLeary and Lauren Budnick, who decided to devote their lives to making music that motivates people to live a life with no regrets and honor the God that they serve. These girls are passionate about Christ, music, people, and helping the environment! They continue to be an example of what they portray through their lyrics which gives them a sense of authenticity. Their style of music is Christian pop and they provide plenty of fresh, playful beats paired with inspiring lyrics resulting in a very colorful sound with a great message, especially with this record. I will be highlighting their third and latest album, Tired of Basic. The main theme of this project is to live out-of-the-box with the kind of audacity and confidence that comes from a relationship with Christ. Its a call to action for the listeners to do away with the mundane and live loudly and boldly. I know these ladies personally and I am so proud of what they have accomplished through this work!

1. Awake

The album opens with a very unique and fun track that ultimately sets the tone for the record both musically and lyrically. It has a lot of quirky sounds and cadences that keep the listener intrigued. “Live like you’re awake” is the first line of the chorus and this song is encouraging its listeners to not ‘sleep’ through life but instead be fully aware and live in the moment. We should take risks, pursue our dreams, and make sure our loved ones know what they really mean to us.  This song is filled with a bunch of strong percussion to symbolize the ‘awakening’ of your heart and soul and also the dawning of the rest of the album. A brilliant first track!

2. Undeniable

This is personally one of my favorites! I love the colorful synths woven throughout the track and the exuberant vibe of the song. It is paced very well and easy to dance to! This catchy tune is just a grand declaration of  how the power and majesty of God is simply undeniable. I love how this track builds instrumentally as the song progresses and the girls’ vocals certainly keep up with it. Definitely anthem material!

3. I Don’t Want It

Now this song is a huge reflection of the current state of the girl’s heart and mind. They are telling God that any dreams, any acclamations that they’ve acquired mean nothing without Him. They are fully surrendering their livelihood over to God; every decision, every aspiration, every accomplishment, and anything outside of that, they simply don’t want it. The vivid synths continue on this track as they bring a sense of upbeat whimsy to the song. It’s extremely catchy and it won’t be too long before you’re singing along!

4. Ibil

Ibil (I believe in loud) is probably one the boldest and most energetic songs on the album. Sonically, it is very forward with electric guitars and drums which gives it kind of a rock feel. The vocals are very pronounced and are sung with gusto and moxie. The message of this song is to live loud and unapologetically and everything about this track is doing just that! You will be hyped up and highly motivated after listening to this one, the energy is infectious!

5. Take Me On

This song has a strong rock vibe and is definitely instrumentally heavier compared to the lighter, synth-filled songs in the beginning. It represents the inner struggle that all of know too well. Fighting with ourselves can almost equate to a boxing match! The girls are expressing this constant tension that they have within themselves along with wanting to be changed and used by God.

6. So What

If you’re a Christian and you feel like you simply don’t fit in or you’re the odd one out, this song is for you! LoveCollide encourages you to not be ashamed of being different but instead embrace it. If the world rejects you, so what? Do as Jesus would do and LOVE. You’ll have lots of fun grooving to this one as it is upbeat and funky. It also supports a lot of healthy themes such as resilience and perseverance.

7. Maybe

This is another one of my favorites because it is so soft and beautiful. It shows a more vulnerable side of the sisters and you can hear the subtle pain and emotion in their voices. Serving as a change of pace for the album, it is definitely much slower and gentler, almost like a ballad. They admit that when things are falling apart in their lives, its easy to put up a façade and pretend that all is good. Sometimes they even distanced themselves from God all the while knowing that they needed him. “I thought that you’d move on ever since I tried pushing you away secretly wishing you’d stay” the lyrics state. The raw honesty is truly striking and it very relatable to say the least.

8. Breaking My ❤

I can only imagine that this song is from the prospective of God to His children. Just as the last song revealed a more vulnerable of the girls, this song shows a more vulnerable side of God. When He sees His precious beloved get into trouble, flirt with the devil, and simply doing things that they shouldn’t, it breaks His heart terribly. The production of this song is incredibly breathtaking and the melody is spot on. I really love this one, definitely a staple!

9. Wildfire

This is a poignant call for revival. An anthem and a mission to spread the love and hope of Christ until it catches like a wildfire! The vocals on this track are as powerful as the message and the song builds like the flame its trying to portray. It has a great melodic hook and it seems to have almost a ‘mechanical’ sound to it which is very fascinating and adds a great flare. A prime example of cool sounds mixed with a deep meaning.

10. X-Ordinary

Lastly, the grand finale of it all! This song brilliantly wraps up the main theme of the album in a pretty little pink bow. musically, it has quite a bit going on with several different riffs and hooks and little quirky sounds here and there. They made sure to go out with a bang! We were made to be extraordinary so let’s live like it. This was a perfect way to end the record, with very strong vocals, sound, and an even stronger takeaway!

 

In conclusion, I think this is a remarkable work of art and I feel it should be listened to over and over again!  It has meaningful themes and is sonically memorizing. Even if you are not a Christian, I still suggest that you take a listen because good music is still good music. If you are interested in this duo and what they have to offer, check out the links below and let me know what you think in the comments!

LoveCollide Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Spotify

iTunes

And stay tuned for the next artist that I will be highlighting!

 

 

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Musicians are a Gateway: A Series

Music is a universal language the speaks to the depth of every soul. It shifts the paradigm in our inner being and allows us to connect with our rawest emotions in ways that nothing else could. It is a vessel for processing and release, it can be highly therapeutic or used just for fun! One song can hold the power to open up a floodgate of memories and transport you to a specific moment in your life or associate itself with a very specific person. Music can give hope in the midst of darkness and somehow make you feel less alone. It can bring two complete strangers together and provide a common ground for conversation. I have honestly never met someone who didn’t like music! Simply put: music is magical.

Therefore musicians are very special people. They possess the talent and ability to mold and create the very thing that greatly influence the masses. They can take sound and bend it, adjust it, extract from it, add to it, apply their own interpretation, leave their own mark, sew the streams of notes and waves together with a thread that is true to them, give it substance, give it meaning, give it power. It doesn’t matter the genre or style, the instruments used or level of expertise; musicians contain the aptitude and adeptness to usher us into the grand experience that we all love. They are the gateway.

I am so lucky to personally know and be friends with some incredible musicians. Not only are they great at their craft, but they have amazing character and are just awesome human beings! I will use this series mostly to highlight my musical friends, but if I come across an artist that I really like, then I might as well highlight them too! I will do my best to post links to their music and social pages so that you could listen as well. Be sure to tell me what you think, and we could have a conversation about it! My friends cover a broad array of genres, so naturally this is going to be a diverse series. Many of them are also Christians and use their music to express their faith, which I feel is a beautiful thing. So come with me on this journey!

Stay Tuned.

The Oaks

There is a rumbling through this boisterous land

a rumbling of pain that echoes amongst the passageways

The oak trees absorb it with their roots and have retained it for hundreds of years

they quake as the capacity reaches a maximum, for it has conditioned them

the soil is degrading and the nutrients have been stripped

they have coped for so long that it has become nothing but normal

their bark is hardened and the core of their trunks have clinched like a fist

yet it still stands with dignity, with poise, with abundance

 

At the dawn of a newborn sun, the rain fell

it was a vibrant and refreshing rain

rejuvenating, nourishing, poignant

like the crisp, cool breeze off the ocean

on a hot summer day

the oaks took one elongated sigh of relief

a sigh of release

the breath that flowed from within sang back to the rain

a new song

a song of hope

a song of restoration

a song of healing

the melodies rang through the earth

and became stronger with each measure

the harmonies became more intricate with each line

and every note delivered the sonic resonance

that had been so aptly ignored for centuries

 

but its only the beginning

a brave start

one that is inevitable

 

Free the Bird

I am a thinker. I hold strong value to sound reasoning and logical discourse. I enjoy wading in sea of cognizance and it is my great pleasure to strategize and analyze my way through life. I am on a never ending search for the deeper meaning of things, always reading between the lines. I am greatly intrigued by the interplay between notion and reality, how it correlates with the brink of society.

Yes, I am a thinker.

It’s what I resort to when I reach a crossroads or a pivotal point in life. It’s my safety net when things go awry, I always try to figure out why. Thinking ahead, thinking behind, thinking of the nonexistent, all of it consumes me. Its who I am.

I am a thinker.

I am a feeler. This is also major part of me. I am a feeler as much as I am a thinker, yet I tend to neglect this side of me. It is like a bird shut away in a cage, yearning to be noticed. I know it is there, but I refuse to give it the proper attention. It is my natural inclination to feel deeply, regardless of the emotion at hand. When I love, it is so strong and it overtakes me like a hurricane. When I hurt, it cuts into my heart with a blade of fire. Because of my innate and rich capacity to feel, usually the intensity goes unmatched in most relationships and I end up wounded. In all honesty, it scares me how deep I feel, which is plausibly why I tend to ignore it. Subsequently, I have tried to numb myself over the years but the façade is not holding up. It is draining me and I know that is not my true self.  So what is there to do? Vulnerability is a challenge that I’m not ready to face, but I know that I must.

Yes, I am a feeler.

Its time to free the bird.

 

Inexplicable Sadness

I grieve, but what am I grieving?

what is this tone of melancholy that peaks though the crevices of my inner being?

often ignored, yes. For it is subtle to an extent.

But there it remains, lying beneath the surface

I’ve learned to carry it with everything

To excuse it as just a part of me

But I know that its not.

What is this? This inexplicable sadness

This sadness without reason, this sadness without cause

What is it?

I’d desperately like to know

Perhaps its my psyche trying to tap me on my shoulder

to let me know of some deeper pain that I dare not touch

Or it could be that my mind needs ample reinforcement

because the days get long and tiresome

and there is so much for this beautiful brain to process

that it can get bogged down by the very essence of life

The mind is precious so I must treat it as such

and I will not condemn it for doing what young minds do

Maybe my mind just needs a little reassurance

a gentle and loving hand to guide it in the right direction

Maybe my mind is different from the rest

Maybe it’s not as resilient as some might think

and that’s okay.

One must learn to navigate this world in their own unique way

I’m still learning

and that’s okay.

 

Tidal Waves

Tidal waves crashing on the shore of my mind

Constantly moving between here and now, the future, and pastime

The rhythm is soothing, almost as if it is reassuring

seemingly trying to reintroduce the values that were once buried in mediocrity

The sand shifts as if it knew

That reinforcement was a vital entity

Perhaps the grandeur is yet to be enthroned

Quintessentially speaking

Perpetually seeking

Holistically breathing

Oh why do we even morn the loss of what we could not have?

As if it was something dear to the heart

But the heart, oh the heart

must know more that we

Wistfully it utters simplistic murmurs

with great aptitude and sweet solace

Cradling the treasures of the soul

pouring into vast supply of whimsy and intrigue

Take care of it

all of it

For your mind is gold

your heart, a jewel

and your soul as rich as the newborn sun

Give unto these and in turn

you may give these unto others

 

 

 

Christians and Mental Health

In light of World Mental Health Day, I felt the need to pay homage and express something that has been on my mind lately. This is a topic that I am very passionate about and I believe that those who struggle with mental illness of any kind and stature should have a voice. Not just a voice, but a voice that is heard; and not only heard, but understood. Unfortunately, I find this harder amongst the Christian community and I feel for them, deeply.

I was raised entirely in a Christian home and went to church all my life. Sadly the stigma is so thick that it can be frustrating and seemingly impossible for young people to cut through. The mere mental struggles that our Christian youth are grappling with are simply painted over with broad strokes of “Christians shouldn’t be depressed, you need to trust in God and pray more” or “The bible says ‘be anxious about nothing’ so you shouldn’t have anxiety”. Now I am in no way degrading the bible or the power of prayer. I completely believe that God can heal a person’s mind, but first we must acknowledge that this person’s mind is in fact, ill.

This is where I pose a problem. Mental health is rarely discussed in the church and I feel that most think that it is a rather hostile environment to talk about these issues. It breaks my heart to see so many youth profusely drowning in mental illness because they cannot have a healthy conversation in the church or with their families. Therefore it is hard for them to get the adequate help that they need because nobody takes them seriously. If someone were to reveal that they had cancer (which I have seen many times in my church), the whole congregation would crowd over this person to pray and offer support through money, food, time, encouragement, etc. Yes, I’m sure they would share a few scriptures in this trying time, but they would not use them to downplay the fact that this individual’s body is ill. I’m sure they would positively tell this person to “trust in God and He’ll bring you through it” instead of using the tone of “this is happening because you are not trusting in God enough”. I could be missing the mark on this, but I’m speaking from my personal experience.

We live in a fallen world and our bodies are susceptible to disease and ailments. So wouldn’t it make sense that our brains are just as susceptible to ailments as well? Our minds get sick just like our bodies get sick. Thus, we take the proper precautions to insure that our bodies get well. Why can’t we do the same for our minds? We can start by having the conversation in a very open, non-judgmental manner. We need to become more aware of those battling with mental health problems, especially the youth because they may not know how to cope as well. We need to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ who are wallowing in the trenches and offer them a hand of support, to encourage them and let them know that are seen and heard. We need to prominently bust through the thick wall of stigma and vividly build something new. We need to take action, both as individuals and as the church. God could use you to help someone in their healing process, and I believe that we need to create an environment where this very thing can happen.