Featured Artist: Great Awakening

This summer, I decided to be a counselor at RCP (Redwood Christian Park), the high school camp my church’s youth group goes to (since I’m a big bad college student now and “too old” for summer camp).

For the past few years, the camp has brought up different bands to play the music during worship. This year, the band was Great Awakening, a quintet from North Carolina. Each night, they played both familiar church songs and their own music, with one night in particular set aside for a more concert-like setlist.

I really want to tell you right now that Great Awakening is not the stereotypical church worship band. Listen up.

 First off: killer lyrics.

“How much faster does your heart beat when we draw near? / How much faster does your heart beat, let me hear. / How much faster does my heart beat when you draw near? / Come and hear, come and hear. / I’m gonna look right into your eyes / and ravish your heart with my gaze. / I want to breathe ‘I love you’ / I want to sound like a river of praise…”

“Let Me Hear,” a song inspired by Song of Solomon, flows with an indie vibe using plucked acoustic guitar layered with piano chords and minimal drumming to lead up to a powerful chorus.

Other standout tracks of their recent album Songs in Secret include the crooning “My Gold,” slow-jam “Lazarus,” and heartfelt “Many Waters.”

On top of skilled instrumental work, these guys know how to use their pipes. One of the vocalists, Zach Janicello, led acoustic worship for my morning Bible study group, and I couldn’t get over how his rich voice filled the room. Onstage, the harmonies and vocal layering with co-lead singer Cole Johnson added even more to the beauty.

One of the coolest things about this band is their partnership with Come&Live!, a music label geared for bands with a mission to use their music to lead others to Christ. As a part of this mission, both Songs in Secret and debut album Cities are available to download on Come&Live!’s site for completely free, right here.

I highly recommend giving them a listen or spending a few bucks on a concert. They’re really great guys to hang out with, too–I mean, what band teams up with a bunch of counselors against 200 kids in a game of Zombie Apocalypse?

Much love.

(Thanks to Katie Hoyle for the pictures!)

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