Critically acclaimed Christian pop/rock band Circleslide will appear tonight on JCTV’s “1 Music Village” at 11 p.m. ET. Circleslide will perform songs from their eagerly anticipated sophomore release, Echoes of the Light, which hits the shelves on October 5 from Save the City Records and Provident-Integrity Distribution.
Since the band’s debut project, which landed them on Christianity Today‘s list of “Best New Artists of 2006,” among other accolades, Circleslide — whose lineup includes frontman Gabe Martinez, lead guitarist Jonathan DeAnda, bassist Eric Vickers and drummer Lee Yoder — has toured unceasingly, refining their modern rock ruminations, while keeping their ministry agenda firmly in focus. In addition to shows with newsboys, tobyMac, MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Salvador, Jaci Velasquez and downhere, the guitar-driven band has headlined everything from clubs to churches and colleges, with plenty of youth camps and outreach events in between — all of which build off the group’s Youth With A Mission beginnings.
The band was developing the project last spring when Nashville was hit with a devastating flood which destroyed Martinez’s house, as well as all of the band’s gear, instruments, PA and trailer.
“We were out of town when the flood happened,” remembers Martinez. “A friend who was staying at our house waded through five feet of water to save some vintage guitars, but other than that, we had to completely rebuild from scratch. The Nashville community really came together, though. So many people showed up to help us sort through the mess and rebuild — four different church groups, friends and neighbors and people we didn’t even know. Thanks to amazing organizations like MusiCares, Graceworks Ministries and Porter’s Call, we’ve been able to replace our music gear and home appliances, and we have a renewed realization that God has called us to this ministry. Nothing’s going to hold us back from spreading His word.”
Circleslide’s ordeal, and the season of spiritual reassurance which followed, directly inspired the band’s recent songwriting process. Several cases in point include the guitar-charged romp “The Litany,” the pleading praise ballad “Open Door” and the endurance anthem “Eye of the Hurricane.” Additional vertically-tinged variety comes courtesy of the vulnerable yet gorgeous “Love Amazing,” the ethereal crescendos of “You Are Everything” and the vibrant fist pumper “Nothing Compares To You.” The progressive and lyrically poetic worship of “Looking Up” serves as a true spine chiller wrapped around the idea of unconditional surrender. Yet the project’s themes all tie together through the resplendent title track “Echoes of the Light,” which poignantly refers to God’s act of speaking light into existence, while simultaneously calling believers to be reflections of that light.
The band has evolved sonically since the last project — not only do they sound more explosive, dynamic and melodic than ever, but the choruses are instantaneously contagious from an initial spin of the album. There’s also an increased continuity that comes from producer and fellow Save the City labelmate Brandon Bee (Stacie Orrico, Lanae Hale, Benjiman). Expect shades of anthemic alternative acts like Arcade Fire and The Flaming Lips, crossed with the edge of Kings of Leon and the envelope pushing likes of The Choir (from whom the band gleaned its moniker). The new album also reveals a worship side of Circleslide that fans have experienced at their live shows.
Echoes of The Light is conceptual from start to finish, sequenced impeccably to take the listener through a roller coaster of musical and spiritual emotions. There is an undeniable and immediately apparent chemistry across the dozen cuts that is especially refreshing in an iTunes age of picked-apart albums in search of a single or two.
All the while, it’s impossible to take a listen through Echoes of the Light and not be struck with an unbreakable sense of perseverance from Circleslide members in both professional and personal contexts. In exposing their own vulnerabilities, the guys’ authenticity is evident. At the same time, the album possesses an ability to inspire others from any walk of life looking for the resolve to press on.
“It could be someone without a job, someone else having a hard time in general with the economy, a person dealing with death, a single mom with a crazy schedule or a college kid chasing a dream — no matter who you are, we want to remind you that you’re not alone and God has given you the ability to keep going, no matter how hard it gets,” assures Martinez. “Even in the midst of our brokenness, God is great and He’s there to walk us through the restoration process.”
Circleslide’s Echoes of The Light is slated to release on October 5 through Save the City Records and Provident-Integrity Distribution. For more information on Circleslide and Echoes of the Light, visit circleslide.net or savethecityrecords.com.
JCTV, a Christian youth network designed for the 13-30 age group, is part of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). “1 Music Village,” a JCTV exclusive weekly show, highlights the best in contemporary Christian music. Each week’s program is a mini-concert, featuring a band or artist who hosts the program and showcases a handful of tunes from their latest project. To watch a live stream, go to jctv.org or tune into your local television station (jctv.org/updates).