- We Need You
- Caught Up in This Moment
- One Word
- Mercy Light
- We Believe
- Echo of Love
- Come to the Cross
- Rescue Me
- Bright White Light
- Your Love is Louder
- Echo of Love (Radio Mix)
- Mercy Light (Radio Mix)
Think Owl City; mixed in with a little David Crowder, Rend Collective and Newsboys. Then mix in a few electronic programming loops, strong percussion, and add a worship undertone, and An Epic, No Less is birthed. Recently signed to BEC Recordings to complement Jessa Anderson, Jeremy Camp, Manafest, Hawk Nelson and others; I had to do a double listen to see if Adam Young wasn’t singing, with lead singer Todd Larson sounding eerily similar to the Owl City frontman. From their independent release, ‘An Echo of Love’, back in 2010 with famous worship covers ‘In Christ Alone’ and ‘Greatness of our God’; this electro-pop-synth band have been able to reinvent the Christian worship-CCM genre just like how Rend Collective Experiment and David Crowder*Band have done before them. Produced by Dustin Burnett (Newsboys, The Wrecking), the refreshing 5 piece band release ‘…their bright, engaging sound [which] complements lyrics that set simple truths in the context of insightful imagery…’ Deservedly one of the frontrunners to win the coveted New Artist at the Doves next year, along with newcomers Bellarive and Moriah Peters; An Epic, No Less’ album is certainly one to savour for the many months ahead.
‘Mercy Light’ is the first radio single from the band, and straight from the outset, electronics are employed to enhance the song’s musical appeal to both the alternative and younger generation. With synths and a strong vocal distortion technique, Todd sings out ‘…You’re my mercy light in the darkest night, all I ask, don’t hide Yourself from me…’ a plea to God for Him to stay with us during our moments of plight and help. Drawn from Moses’ longing for God to shower His glory upon him, the song is refreshing as individually and corporately, we are able to declare that God is the food, the nutrients, the source of our spiritual growth. One of the most quirkily emotional yet equally fun and energetic, ‘Mercy Light’ is a stand for believers to proclaim ‘…You’re the light of the world, all we need now is You…’ for the world to see. Well done An Epic, No Less for their musically invigorating melody!
‘We Need You’, ‘Caught Up in this Moment’ and ‘One Word’ are all vertical worship songs that are able to rise me up from my seat as I’m caught up in the musical ingeniousness, soaking in the revelations that God is everything I need in life. Birthed out of a similar circumstance as Sanctus Real’s ‘I’m Not Alright’, ‘We Need You’ wears its vulnerability as Todd shows us lyrical creativity ‘…if You’re hope for the broken, we are shattered glass. But there’s a light that glows between the cracks…’ as we see that God is the sculptor and we are the glass shards. He is making a grand masterpiece through the frail and weary; the desolate and needy; and singing the simple phrase ‘…we need you…’ amongst the musical layers of synths, strong percussion and a electronic undertone; I am able to understand how much we need God to take over our lives which we continuously slip up with. The intro to ‘One Word’ relays like a Super Mario game musically as Todd leaps into his bold affirmation, that ‘…if I only had one word that I could say, it would be your name…’ As we are shown such powerful imagery, we are met with the notion that if we have one breath left, we can’t help but proclaim the love of Christ, because of the change our lives have undertaken. Backing vocalist Hannah Chancellor, who sounds strikingly similar to Addison Road lead singer Jenny Simmons; lends her voice to the bridge ‘…surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all of my days…’; which is a nice addition to a song that has become one of my favourites! ‘Caught up in this Moment’ is one of the most electronic (along with ‘Echo of Love’ and ‘Bright White Light’); utilising a percussion and drum loop as Todd shows his passion for God, proclaiming that ‘…I know that I’m found when I’m lost inside of you…so caught up in this moment, standing here with you…’ Showing the wonder of how God can ‘…stop the sun the sky…light up the stars in the night…’ all we can do is be caught up with Him, showing our praise as we proclaim His awesomeness. A fantastic song for soaking in God’s goodness; well done An Epic, No Less!
‘Echo of Love’, ‘Bright White Light’, ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘We Believe’ are all solid worship anthems that speak for the listeners to stand up for Christ, to be the ‘bright white light’, or the ‘echo of love’ that everyone needs to see. Famous for their 2010 music video, ‘Echo of Love’ teaches us that we are the salt and light, the voice of God on this planet as we share His love with the world around us. Loads of electronics are employed in this anthemic feel of a song, stirring up similarities between Todd and Adam Young, a comparison I’m sure this band will welcome. A comparative symbolism showcasing who we are in reflection to who He is ‘…we are the hands, we are the feet, we are the love of God that people will meet…You are the love that pierces hearts, You are the light that’s shown into our darkest parts…’; ‘Echo of Love’ displays some of their finest work. ‘Bright White Light’ and ‘Rescue Me’ are made-for-radio tunes about declaring that God is the only One to come rescue us from the ‘…lights [that] all start to fade, in between these bars I’ve made…’ (‘Rescue’) as well as encouraging our fellow believers to continue to shine God’s light in the darkness (‘Bright White Light’).
What is amazing about this record as a whole is the worshipful focus, collided with a fresh approach; musically and lyrically; almost as like David Crowder’s ingenious song-writing is infused with Adam Young’s uncanny ability to create musical genius. ‘We Believe’ is an example of this, with lyrical moments ‘…You gave it all and I believe…’ coupled with a running musical undertone of electronics, having a conjuring feeling of a running of race, the race of life that all believers are running as we strive to live our days as Christ showed us to. ‘Bright White Light’ is also an encouragement, and as the ‘ahhh’ vocals undertone the track, Todd tells us that Jesus is coming back, that we ought to not ‘…stop, keep singing, make a bright white light ‘til he returns…’. A fantastic reminder for us to push on and not quit on our goal; An Epic, No Less have created vulnerable music that has become some of my favourite electronic music since ‘Galaxies’ by Owl City!
Overall: There is a moment in the last track, ‘Your Love is Louder’ that sums up the whole album, that God’s love is ‘…loud enough to lead me home…’, that even at our worst, God sees as us redeemed. Through some of the most musically unique sounds I’ve heard since some of David Crowder or Rend Collective’s musical offerings back in January; An Epic, No Less is certain to impact many souls for Christ as they speak real life situations into lives that are at the same places they are. As explained by Todd, our lives should reflect the change Christ made in us, affecting other people as we live with ‘…no less than the greatest thing that God has for it…’ And with that, let us enjoy the wonderful music set before us, as we worship the Lord and echo his love for everyone to hear! Well done for a revitalising debut work!
RIYL: David Crowder*Band, Owl City, Rend Collective Experiment, The Digital Age