Manic Drive returns with VIP album

For fans of the Toronto-based MANIC DRIVE, it has been a long three-year wait since their acclaimed studio project, EPIC.  Over the past decade, this award-winning trio has built a loyal international following, fostered by their infectious brand of power-pop and a genuine commitment to a relationship with their audience. Now, on October 14, a new season begins with the debut of their fifth studio album, VIP.

Two years ago, brothers Shawn and Michael Cavallo and longtime band mate Anthony Moreino decided to take their career into their own hands, choosing the path of independent artists. This freedom has provided incredible opportunities as well as the privilege of creating music on their own terms and their own timeline.

Maybe you’ve heard the title track “VIP” on Air 1 or other radio stations. Despite the song’s party-esque atmosphere and title, the song has little to due with the modern idea of celebrity.  Shawn explains, “So often we compare ourselves to others and forget who we are in Christ.  God gives everyone a purpose. ‘VIP’ is a song that focuses on what we are uniquely called to do. The song is meant to celebrate who we are in Christ individually.”

Manic Drive
Manic Drive

Produced by Oh, Hush! (Cee Lo, Jamie Grace) and Nick Baumhardt (Stellar Kart, Britt Nicole), the band enlisted vocal collaborations with Manwell (of Group 1 Crew) on the title track, as well as fellow Canadian Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch on the song “Electric.”  Recorded in Chicago, Nashville and their own studio in Toronto, VIP is filled with infectious power-pop melodies and lyrics rooted in truth, hope and encouragement.

See the music video for All I Need Is You from Lecrae

Lecrae has become the go-to guy for Christian hip-hop that’s not too Christian that it gets avoided by the mainstream. However, it’s Christian enough to get him invites to major Christian churches and festivals.

Lecrae is a Grammy winner, and he just released his seventh studio album, Anomaly, on Sept. 9th. Proving that he’s not stuck in the Christian subculture, perhaps you’ll see him sitting in with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on Sept. 18th. Cool.

Anomaly features guests like Andy Mineo and Kari Jobe. “All I Need Is You” is the album’s radio single, and the one he’ll be performing often when he goes on tour this fall, starting in Houston on Oct. 3rd.

Sarah Michelle releases All of Me

Sarah Michelle
Sarah Michelle

Sarah Michelle makes danceable contemporary Christian music on her new EP, “All of Me.” Her music is a celebration of God’s love– something she communicates regularly as a music minister in Jackson, Michigan. If you like Jill Scott, Mandisa, or Group 1 Crew, I think you’ll like Sarah Michelle.

“When people listen to my music I want them to feel God,” she says. “I want them to be encouraged, healed, saved and delivered and I want them to be able to relate to my story and to know that I relate to theirs.”

For more information on Sarah Michelle, please visit www.sarahmichelleonline.com. –ChristianMusicMakers.com

New Hope Oahu adds electronic dance sound to worship music

It’s not everyday “the church” gets music made in Hawaii. Usually music comes from Nashville. However, the DREAM Label Group has recorded the energetic music coming out of New Hope Oahu, a Hawaiian church that’s not afraid to embrace the electronic dance music sound that so many churches avoid. For a refreshing version of praise and worship music, add some Hawaiian flavor to your playlists…

Disciple gets Radical with Attack

Rock band Disciple releases its first new album in nearly two years, Attack, independently worldwide through The Fuel Music Sept. 23.  Starting today, hard rocking lead single and upcoming video, “Radical,” as well as “Unbroken” and “Dead Militia,” are available exclusively through iTunes as instant downloads with each pre-order of the album.

Taking these and other new songs from Attack on tour, along with a bevy of No. 1 hits and fan favorites, Disciple launches a two-week club tour beginning at Mojoes in Chicago (Joliet, IL) Oct. 2 and travels into significant markets across the country before wrapping up Oct. 23 in Battle Creek, MI.  Special guests on the tour are Project 86 and A Life Set Apart.

Immediately following the club tour, Disciple joins the massive, No. 1 Pollstar-ranked Winter Jam tour.  NewSong’s blockbuster Winter Jam Tour Spectacular kicks-off Nov. 6 at Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Santa Ana Star Center, and hits Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena, Long Beach Arena (Long Beach, CA), Boise’s Taco Bell Arena and Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA), among others, before concluding November 16 at Portland’s Moda Center.

For the latest on Disciple tour dates and more, go to www.DiscipleRocks.com.

While on the road, Disciple fans will see front man, founding member and band leader Kevin Young along with his newly formed powerhouse line-up.  Writing, recording and touring with Young are four new Disciple members who are established musicians in their own right: Josiah Prince from Philmont and Andrew Stanton from I Am Empire on guitars, Jason Wilkes from High Flight Society on bass and vocals, and Joey West from After Edmund on drums.

“It’s Disciple’s best lineup ever,” says Young.  “They have the perfect combination of being great players and performers, and are ridiculously talented songwriters.  One of my favorite things about these guys is that they have embraced where Disciple has been and love to play the classic songs for our fans, as well as have put every ounce of their souls into trying to take Disciple higher than we’ve ever been.  I think our fans have embraced them for that in return.”

discipleWhile each of the band members except for Young are new, Disciple brought back into the mix Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Pillar, TobyMac), who produced the first seven Disciple records. “I hadn’t worked with Travis in six years, but we knew this was going to be a hard, aggressive record.  Travis recorded all of our hardest albums and working with him was like going home.”

A year in the making, and with the added freedom of now being independent for the first time since 2003, Disciple’s resulting album offers hard, experimental and atmospheric elements with “Dead Militia,” “Lion” and “Angels And Demons,” as well as gives a nod to long-time Disciple fans with “The Name” and “Radical.”

“I wanted to talk about Jesus loudly and without shame,” says Young.  “That’s why ‘Radical’ is the first track and our first single.  It sets the tone for what we want people to hear.  We talk about Jesus openly at every show.  We do an altar call.  That is who we are and that is what Disciple is called to do, and we hope that people hear the new music and say ‘Yeah, now THAT’S Disciple!’”

Desperation Band to release Banner album

Desperation Band
Desperation Band

The youth worship band at Colorado Springs-based New Life Church, Desperation Band, releases its all-new album, BANNER, internationally Sept. 30 through Integrity Music.

Recorded live during the July 2014 Desperation Conference, the 12-song album captures the spirit and energy of youth at worship during the conference, while sharing a deeply-rooted belief that the God of ages past is alive, well and moving mightily among people who are desperately committed to Him.

Written specifically with today’s students in mind, BANNER is deliberate both sonically and lyrically as it connects the past with the present and the future.

“We want to make sure we’re singing songs that help young people understand they are in a moment of time, but that the church has existed for thousands of years,” New Life Church worship leader Jon Egan explains. “We want to place an emphasis on history, returning to the sacred call to worship.”

Simultaneously, as the Desperation Band evolves musically, Egan adds, “We want to inspire those who come after us. We want to lead and be pioneers and be bold in that…we have nothing to prove, and in that we have the freedom to take some risks.”

Egan, who helped form Desperation Band in 2001 and now mentors a new generation of worship leaders and songwriters at New Life Church, co-wrote with Jason Ingram, Jonathan Moos, Nico Perez and others for the new album. For the title track, Egan shares, “I’d been wanting to write a song about God being our banner, the ancient truth that God is with us, leading the march through history. One of our young guys came in with some music and I brought some direction for the lyrics, and it just came together. It’s so ancient, so ‘Moses and the Old Testament,’ yet to these guys it seems fresh and cool, which I think is great.”

The new album also features, “Break Open,” a song of surrender to Christ inspired by the story of Mary’s extravagant gift of perfume on the feet of Jesus, “Fun,” a full-tilt dance celebration song written by Egan, Ingram and Cory Asbury, and one of Egan’s personal favorites, “Make A Way.”

“‘Make A Way’ has been blowing up at our church and at youth events,” he says. “I think they have really connected with it because it gives a voice to people believing for miracles. We did a 5-city tour, and in every city I found myself looking at hundreds of 15-year-olds, thinking, ‘So much will be thrown at you…but the answer has always been Jesus. It always will be Jesus.’ When I was fleshing that out for a song, I was reminded that where there was no way, Jesus made a way at the Cross…and He still makes a way.”

“Make A Way,” as well as the title track and “Break Open,” are available as instant downloads when BANNER is pre-ordered at iTunes. Global pre-orders for both the “standard” and Digital Deluxe versions of the album begin today at iTunes and Amazon.com. The Digital Deluxe version features a digital booklet with song charts and four live performance videos: “Banner,” “Make A Way,” “Break Open” and “We Are Yours.” The US version of the Digital Deluxe will further feature a 45-minute video track with a spoken word message from Desperation youth pastor David Perkins.

Having never lost sight of the limitless potential of students to impact their world for Christ, Desperation Band is planning to take its message, new songs and favorites like “I Am Free,” “Overcome,” “Yahweh” and “Strong God,” on the road for an extensive, international tour spring 2015. Over the years, the band has led worship for hundreds of thousands of high school and college students through its touring and at the annual Desperation Conference. As the band gears up for the new tour, booking and event related inquiries are being directed to contact@709agency.com.

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