Following the 'Unity' live congregational recordings of 2011 and a run of gigs in support that album, we're releasing a 4 track EP aimed at personal devotion. Our fifth release, the EP was recorded with our good friend and long-standing producer David Nicholas on the NSW Central Coast.
This fourth album from Garage Hymnal is called Unity, and offers twelve new songs for churches to sing together. Centred around the theme of our life together as a church, this album is a passionate prayer for unity - the title track asks that we may be one just as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
Recorded live over three nights, it features the voices of 800 worshipers from many denominations who gathered in the historic sandstone church of St Stephen's in the inner west of Sydney.
David Nicholas, who produced Garage Hymnal's self titled studio album, returns as producer, bringing his experience with artists as diverse as Sting, George and Delta Goodrem.
As with previous Garage Hymnal albums, Unity draws on a rich tradition of hymns and scripture. Charles Wesley's 'Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies' receives a new melody and arrangement in 'Hymn 140', the German hymn of the risen Jesus is set to a new tune in 'Fairest Lord Jesus', and the ancient liturgical hymn 'Te Deum' has been reinterpreted for contemporary worship in 'We Praise You'.
Garage Hymnal's new self titled album is all about new beginnings: grace, forgiveness and the deep joy of a fresh start with God.
But this album also represents something of a new beginning for Garage Hymnal as a band. Previous albums brought together many different songwriters and musicians from all over the place. But for this album it was decided to strip back to a core band who would write, record and tour together. The band brought in ARIA award winning producer David Nicholas to help shape an organic new sound for the band. Recorded live together over a few days in a studio in Byron Bay, the result is a warm and honest album.
Yet while many things about this album are new, some things have not changed. Once again the songwriters have looked to hymns for their unchanging truths beautifully expressed. An uplifting gospel rewrite of 'Beneath the Cross of Jesus' reminds us to gaze in wonder on the place where 'heaven's love and heaven's justice meet'. And the epic final track surveys the earth and reminds us both of creation's overwhelming size but also our intimate relationship with the one who made it: 'this is my Father's world'.
And while the recording itself is meant to be enjoyed while driving to work or in private devotions at home, Garage Hymnal remains focused on writing for churches. Tracks like 'Hallelujah' and 'The Light Has Found Us' speak gospel truth with a simplicity that will easily find a place in churches' times of singing.
The writing is at times deeply personal, with songs like 'Let Us Talk', 'Dwell' and 'Love, Like a River' drawing on the songwriters' own experiences of repentance and faith. But this is first and foremost a collection of songs for God's people to sing together. There is no more unified song than the joyful noise of sinners who have been found by God's grace.
Songs of faith in a fallen world
The follow-up album to the debut CD Take My Life by Australian band Garage Hymnal, Bring on the Day explores the Christian response to suffering in a fallen world. The collection of songs draws on the “now but not yet” theme of dealing with tragedy in the knowledge that God’s promised kingdom is yet to be fulfilled.
This theme is woven throughout the album, with a plea to God for deliverance in ‘How Long?’ and ‘Call for Mercy’, coupled with the assurance of His faithfulness in ‘Father Mercy’ and ‘Promises’. Two rock anthems, ‘Bring on the Day’ and ‘Come Lord’, call for the speeding on of the day of judgement and salvation. A new version of the classic hymn ‘It is Well’ completes the album, serving as a reminder to trust in God in all of life’s situations – good and bad.
Continuing the spirit of collaboration from their first album, Garage Hymnal are joined this time around by an exciting line-up of special guests. Highlights include the Doxa Music Gospel Choir from Zambia, who bring their deep, soulful sounds to the gentle R&B lament ‘How Long’ and the pop/gospel prayers ‘It is Well’ and 'Call For Mercy'.
Also new to the mix this album is Chris Collins (Planet of the Stereos), who lends his passionate vocals to the energetic anthem 'Bring on the Day' as well as the lush acoustic guitar driven 'Till Your Time' . And the boys from Revive (Dave Hanbury and Tyler Hall) also make return appearances, pumping their trademark rock/pop energy into songs like the infectious pop/rock 'Promises'.
In a tribute to the work of one man’s saving grace, 43 musicians and songwriters have produced a soundtrack to worship that will fill your mind with life-changing truth and set your heart towards eternity.
Guest artist Dave Hanbury (Revive) brings his trademark gutsy vocals to the rock anthems ‘Live in Me’ and ‘Near’, while the warmth of an acoustic guitar and a heavenly choir rekindle the heart on ‘Milk and Honey’.
Garage Hymnal are a band devoted to building the body of Christ which evolved in 2004 from the Sydney University Evangelical Union’s Annual Conference band. Their latest project saw the band source material from young Christian songwriters all over Australia.
Take My Life features eleven new congregational songs, plus fresh takes on songs by Mark Peterson and Philip Percival.
Spanning as many genres as it does bible verses, Take My Life is an album that exudes a passion for the gospel and a catchy riff, strengthened by the individual talents of each band member.
Garage Hymnal’s love of music has found them producing online resources for church bands, including advice on music arrangement, band leadership and choosing the right songs for your congregation, all of which can be found at www.garagehymnal.com. Their website also offers the scores and words of Take My Life for use in church.
Borne out a passion for music ministry, Take My Life is an exciting new addition to Emu Music’s seasoned catalogue, and Garage Hymnal a band to watch in the future.