13 Songs, 1 Hour, 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems significant that the Christian worship combo Rend Collective have dropped “Experiment” from their name. But if the group have clearly found their focus, their fourth album, The Art of Celebration, also shows that they've retained their freewheeling exuberance. Past comparisons with secular folk groups like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers still hold true here—tracks like “Burn Like a Star,” “My Lighthouse," and “Immeasurably More” are fueled by vigorous acoustic guitar and mandolin strums that invite handclaps and footstomps. Singer Chris Llewellyn dives into the tunes with a palpable gusto that’s almost impossible to resist. Also crucial is Gareth Gilkeson’s drum work, adding a thumping Celtic beat to “Joy” and a stirring martial tempo to “More Than Conquerors.” Lyrically, Rend Collectice lace their ecstatic hosannas with quieter insights, heard most clearly in softer tunes like “Simplicity” and “Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration).” “Finally Free” stands out for its vivid poetic imagery, while “Strength of My Heart” takes a more mainstream pop/rock tack with winning results.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems significant that the Christian worship combo Rend Collective have dropped “Experiment” from their name. But if the group have clearly found their focus, their fourth album, The Art of Celebration, also shows that they've retained their freewheeling exuberance. Past comparisons with secular folk groups like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers still hold true here—tracks like “Burn Like a Star,” “My Lighthouse," and “Immeasurably More” are fueled by vigorous acoustic guitar and mandolin strums that invite handclaps and footstomps. Singer Chris Llewellyn dives into the tunes with a palpable gusto that’s almost impossible to resist. Also crucial is Gareth Gilkeson’s drum work, adding a thumping Celtic beat to “Joy” and a stirring martial tempo to “More Than Conquerors.” Lyrically, Rend Collectice lace their ecstatic hosannas with quieter insights, heard most clearly in softer tunes like “Simplicity” and “Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration).” “Finally Free” stands out for its vivid poetic imagery, while “Strength of My Heart” takes a more mainstream pop/rock tack with winning results.

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About Rend Collective

A modern praise & worship band out of Northern Ireland, the Rend Collective (formerly known as the Rend Collective Experiment) is exactly what the name says, more a spiritual and creative collective than a band per se, blending praise lyrics with a kind of experimental folk-rock approach. Growing out of a group of Christian friends looking for a way to bring spirituality more in line with the complexities and confusions of life in the 21st century, the band, at least when it tours, consists primarily of drummer Gareth Gilkeson, vocalists and singers Will Herron and Chris Llewellyn, percussionist and keyboardist Ali Gilkeson, horn player and accordionist Bridget Herron, and bassist Patrick Thompson. Recorded mostly in churches and homes, debut album Organic Family Hymnal appeared in 2010, followed by Homemade Worship by Handmade People in 2012, both released by Kingsway Music. A live set, Soul Survivor & Momentum - Kingdom Come: Live 2012, also appeared later that year from Integrity Music, which also released Campfire early in 2013. The Art of Celebration, which hit the Billboard 200 Top 15 and U.K. Top 30, arrived in 2014, along with a holiday album, Campfire Christmas, Vol. 1. Their fifth studio album, As Family We Go, was issued in the summer of 2015. The following year the group released Campfire II: Simplicity, a sequel to their 2013 album. Their first best-of collection, Build Your Kingdom Here (dubbed a "mixtape" by the band), arrived hot on its heels in 2017. ~ Steve Leggett

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