Artist:  Esterlyn
Title:  Mending the Meaning EP
Label:  Rooster Records

Indie “unplugged” disc credits poetic lyrics for creative spark …

What sets Esterlyn apart from the dozens of other attractive Christian pop/rock outfits is more than its irresistible hooks, musical aptitude and organic persona. Quite simply, it’s the lyrics. 

Choosing to stay independent (the band’s debut 12-song set, Lamps, was quietly released through Family Christian Stores and iTunes last year), the quartet snagged the opportunity—and took the chance—to dive deeper than its contemporaries, refusing to let the oft-surface genre limit its questions and fears. Or eliminate its beliefs and hopes.

Presenting a creative indie feel without forfeiting tight production and articulate songs, Mending the Meaning replaces electric leanings with acoustic instrumentation. Stripped down guitars, gentle pianos, crisp banjos and textured percussion beautifully hang on every lyric, a perfect complement to Luke Henry Caldwell’s kind vocal.

Comprised of five songs that allow Esterlyn to further explore its boundaries of faith, “Sweet Love” queries life’s gray areas (“Climbing through this mess I’m in/While willow trees shift beneath/The outcome of my unbelief”) in the context of redemption’s love (“I think about my past regrets/A smile breaks and finds a place/In this valley I see Your grace”).

Equally as poetic, “How Great Is Your Love” constructs an enduring hymn, posing verses of doubt: “My mind is wearing thin/In my brokenness and sin/I know you say I’ll change/But inside I feel the same,” while responding with a straight-ahead worship chorus: “As Heaven is high above us ... How vast is Your great love.”

Quite simply, a work of this merit should not be relegated to side project status. Rather 10 or 12 tracks of the same caliber could easily fill an LP with the same simple magic.

Mending the Meaning is an innovative spark for the young band and unassumingly elevates Esterlyn to an entirely different plane in the ever-narrowing world of pop/rock music.

 

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**This review first published on March 10, 2009.
 

Be sure to check out the latest Esterlyn music videos at Godtube.com!