Each year our young people go away to Newday which is a christian festival. Over the week they go to over a dozen meetings which include teaching but also a time of extended worship. The newday worship team led by Simon Brading from Brighton each year write an array of new songs for the event which can also be taken back to their local churches to be used as well. Each year in October an album is released of a live recording from the event, however this year the team have done something a little different, they have released a studio album. This means all the songs they have taught over the course of the week at the festival can be taken home already, complete with chord sheets to play them too.
The songs on this album are a step in a slightly more creative sounding direction for the newday worship team who have for the last several years been pushing in the direction of using more electronic sounds in their worship songs but also bringing great truth and lyrics through their songs as well. This album which was produced by guitarist Jack Wintermeyer definitely pushes further in that electronic sound but with the clear newday team stamp on it. The synths on this record are complimented nicely by the guitar work and riffs throughout and vocally all the worship leaders are on point.
The intro leading into the first song ‘Before the Start’ is a great album opener and builds up the atmosphere into the rest of the album. This song contains one of my favourite choruses
‘I lift my eyes up to You
And I just smile at the view
For when I look in Your eyes
You’re looking back in love’
The lead single ‘Fill Me Up’ is a radio friendly worship song with poptastic melody which taps into what the young people who attend newday might be listening to back at home.
The stand out tracks which we have already learnt at Hope Church in the last couple of weeks are ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Gateway’. The former which aligns itself with the classic hymn ‘Solid Rock’ declaring ‘All the other ground is sinking sand’ while the latter professes how we can come to God only because of Jesus who is our gateway to him. ‘Hallowed by your name’ and ‘I’ll Never’ are more in the chilled out side of the album but I have to say the versions done live at Newday probably gave the songs a little bit more justice. Though tracks like these prove that there is something for nearly everyone here.
‘Unimaginable’ and ‘Initiate’ are more on the rock side but with what feels like a little bit of an 80s twist to it with the background synths.
Tracks such as ‘Clear’ & ‘Through the Fire’ are brilliant songs, although would probably not be easily used in a local church context. ‘Clear’ makes great use of a violin sound and droney sounding synths. These are both definitely stand out tracks to compliment the complete experience of the album. ‘Vast’ closes out with a great worship track which brings home the power in a a raw middle 8.
Overall some tracks sound a little half baked instrumental wise and could have benefitted from perhaps a little bit more time to develop before being released, which perhaps could have been down to deadline of the album being completed ready for release at the festival. There is no shortage of truth, meaningful lyrics and catchy melodies on this album though and the writing is great for a generation of young people eager to worship their God. I’ve found multiple songs become stuck in my head in my day to day in the last couple of weeks.
This is a great album to use in your personal worship time and find yourself reminding yourselves of some great truths about our God!
Written by Luke Middleton
Who is one our worship leaders here at Hope Church.
Listen to the singles on YouTube below.