10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A pilgrim’s spirit pervades Hyland’s sophomore album for the Tooth & Nail label. This time out, Hyland turns up the electronica quotient in its grooves and textures, courtesy of newly recruited keyboardist Ben Early. Jon Lewis and Mitch Hansen maintain the band’s power pop guitar edge, underscoring Lewis’ vulnerable, emo-tinged vocals. The album’s real focus is on its songwriting—these tunes are smart and emotionally true, rooted in real experience while keeping a Spirit-centered outlook. “There’s a masterpiece within the mess,” Lewis sings in “Work in Progress,” one of a number of tunes that find hope amid human imperfection. Tracks like “Lucky in Love” (an ode to hard-pressed young marrieds everywhere) and “Brothers” (a message of solidarity sent out to a fellow seeker) are wistful yet optimistic. Worshipful numbers like the luminous “Power & Love” and the piano-driven “More Than Famous” are catchy without being simplistic. Finding Our Way suggests that Hyland has found a creative path worth sticking to.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A pilgrim’s spirit pervades Hyland’s sophomore album for the Tooth & Nail label. This time out, Hyland turns up the electronica quotient in its grooves and textures, courtesy of newly recruited keyboardist Ben Early. Jon Lewis and Mitch Hansen maintain the band’s power pop guitar edge, underscoring Lewis’ vulnerable, emo-tinged vocals. The album’s real focus is on its songwriting—these tunes are smart and emotionally true, rooted in real experience while keeping a Spirit-centered outlook. “There’s a masterpiece within the mess,” Lewis sings in “Work in Progress,” one of a number of tunes that find hope amid human imperfection. Tracks like “Lucky in Love” (an ode to hard-pressed young marrieds everywhere) and “Brothers” (a message of solidarity sent out to a fellow seeker) are wistful yet optimistic. Worshipful numbers like the luminous “Power & Love” and the piano-driven “More Than Famous” are catchy without being simplistic. Finding Our Way suggests that Hyland has found a creative path worth sticking to.

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About Hyland

Contemporary Christian pop group Hyland were formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, led by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jon Lewis along with guitarists Matt Lennander and Tim Neff, bassist Lee Carter, and drummer Steve Weigel. Hyland performed locally and grew their regional fan base for years before gaining enough steam to embark on a national tour, but they managed to self-release two EPs between 2008 and 2009, Polyphonic Telegraph #1 and Quotients. In 2010, their momentum led them to a record deal with long-running Christian indie label Tooth & Nail, and by 2011 the band released its proper debut album, Weights & Measures. The floodgates of touring and exposure opened at this point, and the band embarked on multiple tours as well as cycled through some lineup changes. By 2012, a new configuration of the band was in place, with Ben Early joining in on keyboards and backing vocals and Neff, Carter, and Lennander moving on, replaced by guitarist Mitch Hansen and bassist Josiah Erickson. The new version of Hyland took to the road and eventually came back with sophomore album Finding Our Way in October of 2012. ~ Fred Thomas

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