Album Review: Rend Collective Experiment ‘Campfire’

Rend Collective Experiment - Campfire

Rend Collective Experiment – Campfire

I love the beach… I love everything about it… the fresh wind… the warm sand through my toes… the romance of it… the ruggedness of it… the freedom of it, it’s no wonder that this is the place that Rend Collective Experiment chose record their latest album.

I’ve tried to think back and I honestly don’t think I remember smiling so much through a worship album than I did when I listened through the latest album from these Irish folk.

Rend decided to feed their continued focus on community by releasing a live album of songs  from their last two albums Organic Family Hymnal and Homemade Worship by Handmade People… both great albums in their own right., however don’t think for one minute that Rend will give you just the same thing as they gave you on these albums… Rend are far two creative for that. This album is filled with the the new-folk joys of the original albums with all the surprise and quirkiness of their Indie vibe.

The band was so keen to have a ‘live worship’ feel and a real sense of community that they put out an invitation via Twitter and Facebook for people to come and participate around a campfire on Ballyholme beach where all the vocals were recorded live… and thus atmosphere is created… it was literally recorded around a campfire… I mean how cool is that????

The Album starts with the call to worship… ‘Kumbaya’ – it’s a stroke of genius… the ultimate campfire song is re-visioned into a cry for God to be a part of the album, the continued worship.

The first track I heard from this album was ‘Movements’  – I was excited to hear it live, and I was at first a bit puzzled… yes it was a great song… but what have you done to this great pop number… however before long I found myself smiling and singing along… I was drawn into the song… drawn into the atmosphere… I could almost feel the heat of  the campfire against my skin.
Then it dawned on me it wasn’t about the song or the arrangement… it was about community… eccelesia (a movement… church)

The concept of the album demands new arrangements .. new feels…  new twist mainly because of the simple fact that beaches don’t usually have power… however what is birthed from the album is fresh and new and exciting.

Rend have even taken the Matt Redman ‘10,000 reasons’ and re-visioned it for around the campfire and again the song takes on a new personality and the focus once again changes

Gone of the days where worship was confined to churches… gone are the days where church music was paint by numbers worship… or had to feel a certain way… Rend are breaking it down… knocking down stereo types and creating something that is so fresh that people can’t help but be drawn into it.

The creativity on this album… the honesty of this album… almost begs you to look to one direction… and that’s up!

Forget Mumford and Son’s or Arcade Fire or The Lumineers… Rend has not only the heart and fire… but a deep soul. If you’re going to listen to the next wave of New-Folk and Indie… don’t look past Rend Collective Experiement.

Come… lets sit around a campfire and sing… lets tell stories… lets create community… or at least start living in the one God has put us in!



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