Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Newsboys and Article One come to Kentucky State Fair on August 18th. The show is usually the most well-attended Christian music show of the year. According the information I have, it marks the Louisville concert debut of Article One. Since I am not familiar with this group, here's what their publicity has to say:

Founded by brothers Nathan and Matthew Piché, Article One formed five years ago in Ontario, Canada. Winner of the 2005 Kingdom Bound International Talent Search, Article One was additionally honored in 2006 with a Covenant Award nomination for New Artist of the Year. Having appeared on the 2007 SHOUTfest tour as well as on tours with The Elms and newsboys, the band performs an average of 150 dates annually.

Fusing the accessibility of pure pop/rock with an unrelenting indie rock work ethic, Article One refuses to acknowledge the rift between art and faith, according to the band's label, Inpop. Neither do they succumb to the myth that intellectual honesty must be "dumbed" down to appeal to a mass audience. Instead, the Ontario, Canada-based foursome eschewed any formulaic, by-the-numbers notion of what works and what doesn't. Embracing a broader musical palate, Article One spent seven months honing each of the fourteen songs that would coalesce into its sophomore project, Colors and Sounds.

The writing process, facilitated by producer Tedd T (Mute Math, Newsboys), was grueling, but fruitful. "Tedd brought us to a whole new level of professionalism," explains Nathan Piché, the band's guitarist, pianist and primary songwriter. "He pays so much attention to the details. We asked him to push us on every aspect of our songwriting and performance and push he did."

The band pushed too - sometimes for ten drafts; sometimes for twenty, only satisfied with 'perfect.' "Looking back, it was an awesome, though at times very frustrating, experience," Nathan says. "I think we are all big perfectionists," Matt Piché, Article One's violinist adds. "But Tedd taught us more than perfection; he taught us perspective."

Where other bands may yield to the sophomore slump, Article One has ratcheted up the intensity and delivered a collection of fourteen pop/rock songs. Colors and Sounds sports a grittier edge than the band's previous project. From the torrent of guitars and horns that launch "Without You (I'm Not Alright)," to the massive violin orchestration on, "Never Too Late To Call," Article One surges. You can hear it in the drums of "Taken By The Storm," the bold bass riffs on "Colors and Sounds," and quiet introspection of worship tune, "Above All Else."

Colors and Sounds is also marked by the band's melodies and the passion that brought Article One this far. According to Inpop, anyone who has witnessed Article One's live show - which was birthed in rec halls and perfected on high-profile stages across the U.S. - will appreciate the drive of Colors and Sounds.

"Our first record was very straightforward pop/rock. The sound was very clean," Nathan explains. "Our goal for Colors and Sounds was to keep the pop/rock accessibility of the first record, while adding more artistic elements, such as an emphasis on Matt's violin because it is so unique. More than just a collection of songs, this record has a lot of cool moments and textures."

Article One is equally proud of the lyrical content on Colors and Sounds. "When you write a song, you write what you know," declares bassist Mark Laidman. "These songs are about life - ours and the lives of people around us."

"Colors and Sounds is not a concept album, but it does seem to revolve around the theme of purpose," says Piché. "This project was really birthed from personal experience and while the message is very clear, I think it is as accessible to non-believers as it is to believers. That was important to us."

 

"We have lived with these songs for the past seven months," Matt adds. "I can honestly say that every song is strong and together they make a great album. In a day when people tend to buy only singles, this project brings back the validity of purchasing an entire record. It's solid from start to finish."

For more information on the band, visit: articleonemusic.com. Founded in 1999 by newsboys frontman Peter Furler, artist manager Wes Campbell and Inpop President Dale Bray, Inpop Records is home to a variety of artists including newsboys, Superchick, Tree63, Shane & Shane and Mat Kearney, among others. The concert is free with gate admission to the fair.

Following on the heels of an unmatched debut year, Midas Records Band Rush Of Fools is preparing for the release of its sophomore project, Wonder Of The World. Slated to release nationwide September 16. The band will be in Louisville the night before for a CD release party sponsored by 88.5 WJIE. From their publicist:

The sophomore effort is reminiscent of the band's debut release, filled with passionate lyrics and contemporary, hooky melodies, yet takes the band to a different level musically, personally and spiritually.

The Alabama-based group's self-titled debut exploded at radio producing the Radio and Records 2007 Song of the Year with "Undo," while garnering ASCAP's Song of the Year Award for "Undo" (April 2008). The #1 single was also a featured song on CBA's top-selling WOW 2008 CD, while the record was the 2nd best selling new artist release of 2007. With radio success, multiple Dove Award nominations, exclusive partnerships and national tours, Rush Of Fools has become one of Christian music's hottest new bands.

With artistry that embodies what Midas calls "progressive worship," Rush Of Fools' evocative and engaging message of restoration and forgiveness has resonated deeply with fans.

Produced by Jason Ingram and Rusty Varenkamp, Wonder Of The World is a personal reflection of the band's individual journeys and journey together as a whole. Lyrically and musically, Rush Of Fools showcases its progressive edge, while holding true its musical roots.

"It doesn't matter what aspect of life you're working on, you always have to learn how to recreate something," says Wes Willis, lead vocalist/songwriter. "You always have to learn how to grow and change and from a musical aspect, that's definitely what we've done with this album. There was a lot of growth, I think, but not too far away from worship, because that's who we are."

Just finishing up the national Newsboys "Go" tour, the band has been announced as part of the lineup for the 26th annual Night of Joy at Walt Disney World. One of the top Christian music festival events in the country, 2008's Night of Joy will take place September 5-6, 2008 as Rush Of Fools joins including Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Chris Tomlin, tobyMac, Rebecca St. James, Aaron Shust and Fred Hammond, among others.

To support the upcoming album, Rush Of Fools will continue its aggressive national touring this fall with Big Daddy Weave. Rush Of Fools consists of Wes Willis (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Kevin Huguley (vocals, keys, electric guitar), Jacob Chesnut (bass, vocals), Jamie Sharpe (drums) and JD Frazier (electric and acoustic guitar, keys, vocals).

Tickets for the CD party are $10 and include admission, plus a copy of the new CD. They are available through the station's website at wjie.org.

Unfortunately, I did not make it to the "Scream The Prayer" show last month at Headliner's. I hope the show went well, I'm sure it was loud and there was much "cookie monster" singing in the house that night.