I’m so excited to share with you my pick for this week’s New Music Monday: Minnesota based Christian rock/pop group, Hyland, and their sophomore release, ‘Finding Our Way’, which was released on 10/22/2012. Now, you may not have heard much about the group Hyland…yet. I think it’s only a matter of time before these guys take off in a big way in the world of music!
This past summer, I happened upon the band Hyland playing at the WFRN Friend Fest. I never really intended to see them play; come to think of it, I’m not even sure I had heard of Hyland prior to the WFRN Friend Fest. After seeing them play once, however, I was a fan. The Hyland guys put on an energetic, rollicking show that, in my opinion, should have put some of the big name acts appearing at the two day festival to shame. I made a point to see them at Fandana Fest at Huntington University in August, and they were even better than the first time I had seen them; but, I digress.
This post is actually about the follow-up to Hyland’s awesome first full length CD, ‘Weights & Measures’ (which, by the way, if you don’t have, you totally don’t know what you’re missing out on! Go get it right now!) If I’m being honest here, I wasn’t really sure how ‘Finding Our Way’ was going to be able to measure up to ‘Weights & Measures’, but I’m here to tell you I was very pleasantly surprised! Not only did Hyland follow-up ‘Weights & Measures’ in grand style, they showed impressive evolution stylistically in both the progression of their lyrics and music.
One of the things I like the best about Hyland is that they are fantastically talented storytellers. Every song is like a little vignette set to music, however, only a portion of the song is told thru the words; a significant part of the song is told solely thru the range of emotion in lead singer Jon Lewis’ voice and the varying ways the band chooses to arrange the music. I think this is especially evident in the songs “Power & Love” and “Work In Progress” on the ‘Finding Our Way’ album.
The other two standout songs on ‘Finding Our Way’, in my opinion, are the current single, “Beauty in the Broken”, and “Well Done”. “Beauty in the Broken” is just an all around outstanding song. I absolutely love it! Easily one of my favorite songs of 2012. Easily.
As for “Well Done”…I don’t normally tear up over a first listen of a song. I may cry at the end of movies about dogs, but I don’t generally cry over songs, but “Well Done” had me tearing up big time. There’s just a very emotionally riveting, vulnerable rawness when you put together these lyrics, Lewis’ voice and the accompanying music that is just really, really special. I loved “Well Done”, and thought it was a completely well done song. (Side note: I made everyone I know listen to this one today, and quite predictably, they all had the same reaction I did!)
Right now, Hyland is out on the Believer tour with headliners Kutless, Fireflight, and the Rhett Walker Band. Not too shabby if you ask me! I’m pretty optimistic since they’re hanging out with the likes of Kutless that they will pick up quite a few new fans out on the road this fall. That would be a really good thing! If you’re in my neck of the woods in Northeast Indiana, you can go check out the Believer tour featuring Kutless, Fireflight, the Rhett Walker Band, and Hyland this coming Friday, October 26th at 7 pm at the Grand Horizon Center in Elkhart. This is probably going to be the best concert to hit Elkhart all year, so don’t miss it!