Juno Award-winning group, The City Harmonic, that brought us the very successful, 'Manifesto,' on their debut album, 'I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home),' is set to release their new, highly-anticipated 13-track worship collection, 'Heart,' on September 3.
'Heart' will feature a variety of different kinds of songs from slow-tempo ballads, to sing-along oriented worship songs, to folky tunes and even some songs that resemble some more pop and rock style music. All-in-all, the album manages to showcase the diverse talents of The City Harmonic in a very thorough way.
The upcoming album will explore the fragility of the human condition and the way in which Christ in the stronghold the can keep everything together. This is the result of individual band members looking inward in order to use their personal experiences to fuel the meaning behind their music. In the past two years, since their last album release, the band has undergone a great deal of change from becoming parents to a very traumatic cancer diagnosis.
"With all this sort of "real life" stuff going on, we set out to write an album 'on being, and becoming, human," said Elias Dummer, vocalist/songwriter/pianist for the band, according to The City Harmonic webpage. "But in a way it's about image bearing. By that I mean that yes, we're human... and the Bible tells us that we're made in the image of God and each and every human has an inherited dignity as a result. But there's more to it than that ... God made this universe around us and often refers to the cosmos as a temple. I mean f you stop and think about the role an 'image' or 'statue' might play in a temple, you begin to see that we humans have quite a role to play. Whatever our present circumstances, the biggest challenge before us is to recognize that in Christ we've been given the responsibility and capacity to become like Him in a way, and as we do, we are becoming exactly the kind of humans we were meant to be from the beginning. "
The City Harmonic released lyrics from the first song on the album, 'Here & There,' that read, "The heart is like Pandora's box, with just a crack it's opened up to beat anew when all is lost, to run, crawl, come home..." Dummer explained the meaning behind these lyrics on the band's website. "Here I am, a finite being, juxtaposed against the eternality of Christ, who talks about living in our dying," he said, "and here we are dying everyday, a little further along than than the day before...Whatever comes, we are not called to a life free from suffering, we are called to something bigger than ourselves. We are called to Christ."
The following tracks explore what redemption of the human heart through Jesus Christ truly looks like. In song's like, 'Praise The Lord,' 'Strong,' and 'Alive, Alive,' the band reflects on the idea that grace can be everywhere and everything and the fact that the very ability to be alive is a reflection of God's grace. 'Take Heart,' takes the idea a stop further, by reflecting on our powerlessness, as human beings, to control grace and our understanding that, through it, we will never be alone.
One of the most moving song on the album is perhaps, 'Love Heal me,' a song by Eric Fusilier, which addresses his recent struggle with cancer. "When it came time to track the song, my voice was shaky and hard to control," Eric explained, according to The City Harmonic website. He had lost his voice as well as his muscle atrophy while in the hospital and hadn't sang or played in over a year. "I was a little embarrassed about how it might sound. You can hear the weakness... but it captures an honest moment," he said.
The remaining tracks reflect on the Glory of God through Jesus Christ, the perfect love of Christ. These songs are meant to make the listener reflect on God's Glory and love in a way that we are moved to change in our own lives. "It's always been a dream of mine to be in a band, to write/say something that matters to people in a spiritual sense," Dummer said, according to the band website. "But this time it was hugely important to me to get it right, to express the raw, gutteral frustration, pain and suffering I've experienced, and that people around the globe have experienced even more than me, and to give some kind of hope in the midst of it. I love that it's called HEART and that it celebrates the joys and sorrows of life. It's exactly what we needed to write... a beautiful, raw expression of life."
Track list for 'Heart' [according to Louder Than Music]:
1 Here And There
2 Praise The Lord
4 Take Heart
5 Alive, Alive
6 Love, Heal Me
7 Songs of Longing, Joy and Peace
9 Live Love
11 Long Walk Home
12 Brand New
13 My Jesus, I Love Thee