Advent & Christmas -Vol. 1 was our band's first release and was chosen as one of the 6 best Christmas albums of 2015 by Under the Radar, a weekly syndicated radio program highlighting the “best undiscovered and under-appreciated tunes from Christian artists." Cross Rhythms UK called it "nothing short of stunning."
The original songs in this collection speak of both faith and doubt, despair and hope, lament and longing. Many of them came out of reflection on The Magnificat, Mary's song from Luke 1, and the story of Jesus' birth, and how those words from so long ago resonate with our current headlines, how, like so many on our planet today, Jesus was born without privilege or power or even a welcoming bed.
These songs grew out of our questions too...questions about how we can possibly live the Advent themes of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love in the midst of a world that feels so broken, so polarized, so wounded by racism and fear and inequality.
We've also included three songs you will probably recognize -- traditional Advent and Christmas carols -- newly arranged, with some lyrics slightly altered to be (at least, a little) more inclusive in their language.
Our hope is that all these will be songs others could sing as well... In congregations, small groups, wherever people gather to worship, pray, imagine, hope for and work towards a new day, a new way, where love and mercy win.
Lyrics for all the songs and sheet music for Remember Mercy and Holy Is Your Name are included in your download.
Join us in conversation at pluralguild.com
Recorded during 2015 at Foxhall Studios, Chicago. Produced by Gary Rand and Dorian Gehring. Engineered by Dorian Gehring. Featuring Hannah Rand, Olivia Harris, Leslie Michele, lead vocals; Jack Harris, vocals, guitar; Gary Rand, vocals, guitar, Jordan Stacey, vocals, bass; Julian Stacey, vocals, drums; Dorian Gehring, guitar; Rob Clearfield, keyboards; Rob Wildeboer, keyboards, Jon Deitmeyer, drums, Paul Harris, drums, Christian Moder, drums. Additional vocals: Torri Hamilton, Rachel Douglas Swanson, Cindy Stacey, Caronina Grimble, Chris Stacey, Johanna Thompson, Paul Harris. Original songs written by Hannah Rand, Lenora Rand & Gary Rand, except Remember Mercy - lyrics by Lenora Rand, music by Elsa Harris & Gary Rand. Christmas carol arrangements by Hannah Rand.
Album cover art from a painting by Scott Beahm.
Special thanks to LaSalle Street Church, Chicago, where many of the folks on this album find themselves (and each other), most Sundays.
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