God Girl's New Favorite Thing for Sept. 27, 2012: Northern Ireland's Rend Collective Experiment
I love music. I love Jesus. And I love all things Irish.
So when a friend introduced me to Rend Collective Experiment last year, chances were pretty good that I'd vibe with this band from the North of Ireland (Bangor, to be specific.)
But ... and this was a BIG but ... my musical proclivities, while decidedly ecclectic, generally steer clear of contemporary Christian worship music (especially if it's billed as such.) When it comes to having a musical worship experience, give me Chris Martin and his bandmates, or those other four greying boyos from a little farther south in the Republic of Ireland.
Without putting too fine a point on it, Rend Collective are very much a contemporary Christian worship band. But they aren't what you're thinking.
Neither painfully earnest nor woefully twee. They're fun and funky — earthy, too, in a grab-your-banjo-and-trilby-hat kind of a way.
Another favorite, David Crowder, put it this way:
“Rend Collective Experiment is special...I don’t intend a clichéd usage of the word ‘special,’ but my hope is for the word to be fully vested with meaning, as in: Rend Collective Experiment is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual. And when I say this, I don’t intend to reference the music, solely. It is immediately apparent that the music is simply an extension of an approach to life and faith that is equally notable; the music and life functioning in a symbiotic way, each feeding and sustaining the other. When given the opportunity to participate in such a thing, I was honored and humbled.”
The multi-instrumentalist group is a hoot (and a holler) — full of joy and exuberance and whimsy. And full of awe and wonder at the fathomless beauty, grace and love God and God's creation (us included.) I've had their second album — Homemade Worship By Handmade People, the rollicking follow-up to their 2010 debut Organic Family Hymnal — on repeat since its release in January.
The band — leader/drummer Gareth Gilkeson, vocalists/guitarists Will Herron and Chris Llewellyn, keyboardist Ali Gilkeson, Bridget Herron on accordian, and bassist Patrick Thompson —coalesced about a decade ago in Ireland and in more recent years have stepped out beyond their emerald island home to tour with internationally popular artists including Chris Tomlin and Mercy Me. And later this fall, the band is set to head out on tour with Matt Redman.
And now comes this wonderful video, directed by our buddy and God's Politics contributor, Greg Fromholz.
It's my favorite new thing. Hope you enjoy it, too.
Cathleen Falsani (aka "God Girl") is Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners. Follow Cathleen on Twitter @GodGrrl.