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Nash Pays Homage with Hymns & Sacred Songs

  • Lindsay Williams Contributing Writer
  • 2011 17 Nov
Nash Pays Homage with <i>Hymns & Sacred Songs</i>

Artist: Leigh Nash
Title: Hymns & Sacred Songs
Label: Kingsway Music

Sixpence’s sweetheart charms on this lingering worship release . . .

When “Kiss Me” became a worldwide phenomenon, the song did more than propel Sixpence None the Richer to stardom. It introduced us to a shy girl with a beautiful voice and an equally lovely soul. Leigh Nash has evolved on numerous levels through the years and has literally grown up before the eyes of her fans, as the lead singer for Sixpence and as a well-respected solo artist.

Hymns & Sacred Songs, the first in a series of three worship projects Nash plans to record, finds the vocalist lending her lilting voice to ancient hymns, whose lyrics ring just as true today as they did back in the 1700s. Yes, Nash went back that far. She dove deep to record timeless hymns—many of which she grew up singing in church. However, she puts her own mark on these songs, leaving listeners captivated with her pixie-like voice.

The melodies—many redone and updated—draw from a wide range of flavors, though all are soothing and arresting. Country and Americana sounds bookend the album, igniting the opener, “Savior, Like a Shepherd (Blessed Jesus)” and closing offering “Be Still My Soul.” Other tracks lean toward modern pop, such as Nash’s take on the more recent worship song “Power of the Cross” and the resounding “Blessed Redeemer.” Also pop-centered are “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Isaiah 55,” though Nash adds a twist. Her versions are playful, retro and eccentric with quirky bells, chimes and other eclectic sounds, leaving Nash’s hymns comparable to new material from indie darling Katie Herzig or critically-acclaimed favorites Jars of Clay.

These songs might have been written hundreds of years ago, but Nash brings them into the twenty-first century with creative production—courtesy of producer John Hartley (Rebecca St. James, Matt Redman)—and remarkable vocals. The sparser arrangements are noteworthy as well. “Come Ye Thankful People Come” and “Out of Bondage” are stripped bare of all polish and sheen to reveal the simplicity of a guitar and Nash’s charm.

These songs can only be described as vintage; they are nothing short of exquisite. Nash pays homage to her roots beautifully and ushers in a rare, reverential experience through these dozen songs in a potent way. 

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