Title: Inseparable EP
Label: Word Records
Release Date: 2/25/14
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- We are the Brave
- Furious Love
- Mechanical Planet
- Mystery of the Invisible
‘…the name VERIDIA is a representation of the life we want to live every day…striving to be truth-seekers and truth-speakers. Truth comes in many forms; in awareness of ourselves and inner-changes that need to take place, in acknowledgement that evil and other terrors exist in this world, but knowing that they don’t have to be a part of who we are. Truth can be beautiful, it can be brutal, it has to be sought after and expressed. Whenever it is discovered, we want to always remember to speak the truth in love…’ With VERIDIA’s meaning being to speak truth and to speak truth in a way that will build people up and encourage them in facing truth and freedom in situations they are in, this new band signed to Word Records (home to artists like Meredith Andrews, Point of Grace, Love and the Outcome, Jason Castro and Chris August) is certainly one that is out-of-the-box and something that I myself was not expecting from a label that doesn’t necessarily sign rock bands to their artist roster (aside from Switchfoot and Skillet, who distribute their products through the label currently). Sounding like a cross between Flyleaf, Fireflight, Icon for Hire and The Letter Black, female fronted bands, like VERIDIA, have been showing listeners that rock bands are not just for the men, and that Jesus music, together with rocking out on stage, can go hand in hand, as we are reminded that songs have the power to inspire and transform generations of listeners yearning and longing for something to sing that is bigger, better and greater than themselves.
With a music industry (both mainstream and Christian) dominated by male artists, it is great to know that females, and especially bands with female singers, can succeed. VERIDIA, a band that ministers to listeners of mainstream music, yet also signed to and affiliated with a Christian label, is something to remind us of how the Lord can call certain bands (like needtobreathe, Skillet and Switchfoot) to minister to listeners of mainstream music, and now I guess VERIDIA is another to add to that list. With heartfelt songs about hope, loss, pain, truth, beauty, emotion and inner strength, qualities and traits that can be just as universal as impacting and God-inspiring; VERIDIA give us hope within these 5 tracks, and with a conglomeration of genres, from symphonic pop, to hard rock, prominent keyboard tracks and songs with a variety of string instruments; lead singer Deena Jakoub and the rest of the band are an encouragement to whoever listens, as we are ‘…the brave, we’ll never waive, whatever it takes, we’re gonna make it together, we’re chasing our fear, Your love will come here, now and forever, love is always gonna win the fight, because Your blood runs deep inside…’ (‘We are the Brave’).
The first song and first single from the EP, ‘We are the Brave’ is a symphonic melody with plenty of power, emotion and hope as Deena reminds us of an enemy that we all face that will make it a mission for us to not believe that we are strong, beautiful and loved unconditionally by those around us. We will be made scared and uncertain if we do not boldly stand up and declare that we are indeed brave, because of the love of Christ that has been given to us. As we know that this enemy is the devil, ‘We are the Brave’ invites us to not be ashamed of the love and light we have inside of us, and that even though there is a spiritual battle happening around us, we can rest assured that ‘…love is always gonna win the fight, because Your blood runs deep inside…’ The passion is evident in Deena and her bandmates, and while the song doesn’t directly allude to anything of spiritual significance, we can be reminded of the bold quest of each of us, whether we’re Christians, seekers or don’t believe in God altogether, and that our own need of love, hope, encouragement, and the dispelling of fear, disappointment, hurt and disdain from our lives is something we all can relate to. ‘We are the Brave’ is a call to stand up and fight against those who are telling us that we ought to be less than what we truly are- unconditionally loved and accepted regardless of what we have done in the past or what we will do in the future. A great song that I’m sure will be good to hear in a live setting, VERIDIA’s first track puts things in perspective- that our bravery comes from the One whose blood is poured out for us, and is now running through our veins as we affect the city we live in for Jesus our Saviour!
Entering into pop-remix-dance with ‘Disconnected’, VERIDIA speak about social commentary that remind us of our continual need of God in a society that is full of godlessness. Reminding us all about the world we live in, and how the internet and social media has made everyone ‘closer’ together, but at the expense of the real human relationships we have (people nowadays spend more time on their computers or on their mobile phones, than off them); Deena and the rest of the band deliver a heartfelt and at times discouraging and discomforting chorus, and how we are all ‘…disconnected, we’re so far away, ammunition, the words we say, I know that we can turn this around, we should be building bridges, instead of burning them down…’ Though not speaking directly about Jesus, the cross or salvation (like a good worship song does), ‘Disconnected’ however is as relatable as they come, and give us some food for thought- where are we, as young people, old people, the now generation or the next generation, where are we spending the most time, energy and focus as we live our lives from day to day? ‘Disconnected’ maybe will encourage you to turn off your devices for a day and to just reflect, or it could make us want to hide in a corner and say ‘woe is me’ because we know that our addiction is in fact the social media that supposedly is supposed to enhance the relationships we have. Regardless of the reaction, I’m sure VERIDIA are able to evoke a motivational spirit in all of us, as we hopefully lift ourselves up from where we are, and with God’s help, become who we should be- not disconnected, but connected in relationship and friendship with God and fellow friends and family.
‘Furious Love’, ‘Mechanical Planet’ and ‘Mystery of the Invisible’ round out the 5 tracks on this EP, and each of these three songs and just as powerful, emotive and hard-hitting as the first two. ‘Furious Love’, starting off with a string and keyboard riff introduction, we are met with a heartfelt moment as Deena describes the difference between beauty that depends on what we do or what we look like, compared to the beauty and identity that is shown through love, and especially God’s love. With riveting electronics and a powerful chorus in how we ought to reflect upon the truth that ‘…You say I’m beautiful, I don’t need to world to prove it, only You madly pursue me and jealously tell me I’m worthy of furious love….’, we are called to act to others with the same unconditional and furious love that Christ has given us. And while that may require some help and some forgiveness and resilience as we face an unforgiving world, ‘Furious Love’ is certain to be a comfort to many, and hopefully an encouragement and a call for us to give the love away that we have been given ourselves. Also providing us with themes of thriving and existing not merely as being in mundane moments but rather we were ‘…made for perfection, not dependent on this mechanical planet, you were not meant to be some broken machine…’ in this powerful electronic ‘Mechanical Planet’, as well as the final track of ‘Mystery of the Invisible’, a moment of grace and hope as Deena invites us to believe in the mysteries that sometimes can be unexplainable by science, yet offer hope and comfort beyond belief, as we are faced with tranquillity in violins and Deena declaring that ‘…for reasons that I can’t see, what exists is far beyond me, but I will have faith in the unseen…’; VERIDIA have given us a taste of what their music is about. The genres of pop, dance, rock and praise collide and give us 5 songs of hope, encouragement and inspiration to hopefully crawl out of comfortableness and into a realm where extraordinary and unconditional love is the norm and expected, both with Christ and with those around us.
Overall: VERIDIA and their explosion onto the artist roster at Word Records is a refreshing and invigorating moment, as the band remind us that female fronted bands are still alive and popular today, just as male fronted bands are continually being enjoyed and loved by fans from around the world. A great purchase if you love uplifting music, but in a non-threatening way (that doesn’t speak of Jesus, but nevertheless the songs reminding us to think more beyond the transient and less focusing on the now and instantaneous), Deena and the band give us hope and comfort in these songs as we are able to reflect and hopefully use them as we wait on God to speak through these powerful melodies and allow Himself to comfort, and even confront us with issues from our own hearts that He wants us to settle as we continue to be brave and courageous for Him. To stand up for truth can be hard when you’re the only one standing, and VERIDIA and their name is great, especially in a world where truth telling is sadly negotiable. From ‘We are the Brave’ to ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Mystery of the Invisible’, fans of Fireflight, The Letter Black, even Flyleaf and Superchick, will love this EP when they hear it. A great first musical offering from a band that has a great future in both the mainstream and Christian industry, well done VERIDIA for such a powerful and impacting album!
RIYL: Fireflight, Flyleaf, The Letter Black, Icon for Hire
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3