Review Date: 5/8/2014
Review By: Jessica Morris
Release Date: 1/30/2014
Rating: [usr 8.5]
With a plethora of churches releasing their own music, it is difficult to stand out in the Christian music industry. Yet when it comes to Nashville based worship band Trembling Hearts, they have boldly begun to establish themselves as one of the most unique corporate worship outfits to date. Releasing their debut self-titled EP in January of this year, the worship band combines the modern sounds of electric guitar and drums with a folk and indie vibe which overlays each of the five tracks.
Featuring the vocals of Blake Thornell and Shanna Scrimpshire, the band’s use of harmonies and acapella are the highlights of this EP. Each song details a sincere love of Christ and is imbedded with theological truths. From the opening track “Lord of My Heart,” it is evident that this group is focused on worshiping their savior. The simple piano chords behind Blake’s powerful voice highlight the lyrics and ushers listeners straight into the presence of God. The addition of Shanna’s harmony then takes the song to a higher, more powerful place. The band’s ability to layer their vocals without overwhelming each other or the music is quite remarkable. Because of their technique in accomplishing this, the Trembling Hearts EP is stunning and endearing to listen to.
Following on with “Lift,” the band establish an atmosphere of corporate worship. Declaring, “We just want to lift you high, Jesus we sing, Jesus we cry,” they use simple words to identify deep spiritual truths. With a dash of their unique flavor- this track has a soulful organ sound and a percussion section but they still make way for the listener to have an intimate moment of worship. At 6 minutes this track is quite long for a studio recording, yet the commitment of the vocalists carries the tune and there is a sense of authenticity overwhelming their free worship.
“Hear Our Songs” continues to implement melodies and beats left of center. The quick tempo of this track mixed with an introduction and conclusion that sounds more country in genre can seem a little out of place, however the beautiful use of strings is most welcome within this. The next track, “My Home” is less cluttered instrumentally. A song of obedience and faith, the guitar rift driving this track has elements of the blues and at other times transcends into tones you would expect from Hillsong Church. Ending with a military style drum beat, Trembling Hearts then finish their EP with “For Your Light.” This is a stand out track as listeners are able to hear Shanna’s pure and evocative vocals leading the song. The addition of Blake’s on point harmonies mean there is less reliance on an unique instrumental, allowing the listener to be swept away in the folk qualities of the guitar and the utter sincerity behind the lyrics. If the previous tracks prepared the way for the listener to enter the presence of God, then this track most certainly gives them the opportunity to sit and dwell in it. Ultimately, listeners will be left wanting more from this upcoming talent as the sweet melody finishes.
Overall, the Trembling Hearts EP is beautiful and vulnerable. The band’s commitment to pursing their own sound while communicating the authentic truths of the Bible is apparent throughout. With phenomenal vocalists and instrumentation; plus a knack for balancing two powerful voices in perfect harmony, Trembling Hearts is sure to be a hit for lovers of worship. You can purchase their self-titled EP now.