It's been two years since the previous release from Housefires, an independent worship band that continues to write and release heartfelt and authentic worship music, including the hit worship anthem "Good, Good Father." Their latest offering, Housefires III, continues with the folk-worship sound, complete with "whoa's," acoustic guitars, and stomp/clap percussion.
The songs are long on this LP, with 3 of the 12 tracks clocking in at over eight minutes, and all tracks lasting over five minutes. The first half of the album consists mostly of mid-tempo songs, which causes a bit of a lull a little too early on. Thankfully, vocalist Kirby Kaple adds some variety in highlight "Mountain to Valley," which opens with her raw, earthy vocals set to the sweet acoustic guitar and building drum beats over a distant, atmospheric sound before adding the keyboard and violin to the mix, giving the track an epic feel. Another highlight, "Seek First," brings a much needed energy boost to the set.
Because this is a live recording, we get to hear the dynamic interplay between the band and the audience. The track "Life Is a Gift" has a humorous moment towards the end, when vocalist and guitarist Pat Barrett sings "Even my job is a gift from You / Some of y'all don't believe that…" and the crowd laughs. Worship albums don't usually include humor, so this is a pleasant surprise.
Housefires III, as a whole, is not a groundbreaking worship album, but it is filled with wonderful live moments, truth-affirming lyrics, and skilled instrumentation from the musicians and vocalists. This is the kind of record that was made by worshippers for worshippers, and should be listened to during personal worship time in order to be fully appreciated.
- Review date: 9/14/16, written by Nicole Marie Vacca of Jesusfreakhideout.com