Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Artist: Bellarive
Album: The Heartbeat
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Label: Sparrow Records

Led by Sean Curran, some may be familiar with Bellarive from their days with Come&Live! and through their first EP, The Being Human Project... Start Listening, and fans of Leeland and Coldplay noticed and found something to like in the similar melodies and piano driven rock songs. The six-piece worship band from Orlando, whose name translates to "beautiful river," now are bringing their debut full-length, The Heartbeat, to listener's ears through Sparrow Records. Many of their original songs have been tweaked (albeit not overly) and included on this album. In fact, what you'll find are some of the most energetic and spirited melodies you've heard this year, paired with a heart for true intimacy with God.

You'll have an idea of what this album is like after listening to the first two tracks - "Heartbeat" and "Love Has Found Us," two of the album's more anthemic songs. Bellarive has done an appreciable job including group vocals as well to make sure you'll be singing along with Curran by the end of these songs. There's a whole lot to say about the production of The Heartbeat, co-produced by the band and Joshua Silverberg (Luminate, Abandon). Quite frankly, the album is just packed with emotion, most notably in "Taste of Eternity," where the dynamics take the listener to new altitudes, between the dramatic drums and choir of voices singing "The taste of eternity is here on our lips!," a song that will undoubtedly be sung in churches around the world. A common thread I kept thinking about throughout The Heartbeat is how natural the lyrics sound. Nothing feels cheesy or forced, and this is especially important in this genre of music, where the message is so profound, yet told so often.

Perhaps the most surprising and challenging part of The Heartbeat is found on "Tendons (The Release)," where the climax of the song is prefaced with a spoken word piece that's unrivaled. The placement is a bit unexpected, but what you're left with is a gritty telling of our back and forth struggle in awareness of God; "Rip these tendons, they hinder my reach toward You." "I Know You" is the softest song and has a hauntingly beautiful piano to support Curran's lyrics - "I know You... My grace invites you home," a gentle reminder of the Father's heart toward His children and a prophetic word of belonging and comfort. "Stories" is an appropriate conclusion, which highlights the character of Jesus and the impact of seeing and believe the most epic story of all. The second half of the song sings of the Holy Spirit and His empowering in our lives - "Hallelujah, for heaven came down!"

Overall: Bellarive's The Heartbeat is energetic and spirited, containing a tendency that is bound to inspire you to sing along and ponder the goodness of Jesus. Curran's inspired lyrics and passionate melodies fuel the experience and make this an album from the best new artist of 2012. Pick this up if you are a fan of Leeland, Coldplay, or The Digital Age.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by Matt Henchcliffe


  1. Heartbeat
  2. Love Has Found Us
  3. Hope is Calling
  4. Taste of Eternity
  5. Measures of Rest
  6. Sing
  7. The Father's Heart
  8. Here We Are
  9. Tendons (The Release)
  10. Shine On
  11. I Know You
  12. Stories

(Buy Here)

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