` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Taylor Holland Armstrong, "Paradise - Single" Review
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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Taylor Holland Armstrong, 'Paradise - Single'

Taylor Holland Armstrong
Paradise - Single

Artist Info: Discography
Street Date: January 16, 2024
Style: Pop / Contemporary
Official Site: Instagram
Buy It: http://lnk.to/tha-paradise

Taylor Holland Armstrong is a singer/songwriter from California who came up in the punk and hardcore scene. Armstrong was the lead singer for the metal band The Confession in the mid-to-late 00's. While The Confession's vibe was more akin to Avenged Sevenfold -- and far from Christ-focused, lyrically -- his solo work is more acoustic pop in nature. Though Armstrong grew up in church and going to Christian music festivals, he ended up addicted to drugs and far from his early notions of faith. Thankfully, Jesus freed him from addiction, gave him a family, and eventually opened the opportunity to make music again.

In the lead single, "Paradise," Armstrong compares himself to the thief on the cross that asked for forgiveness and turned to Christ. After singing about the thief, Armstrong reflects back to his own time in county jail going through withdrawal. He sings, "I was close to the grave when You called me by my name. Gave me hope, showed me grace now I'll never be the same. You drank my poison, paid my ransom, shed Your blood to give me life. Jesus, You took my death and gave me Your Paradise." The chorus is a super simple, but very catchy hook. The biggest comparison I hear musically here is for KING & COUNTRY. The song was produced by Sam Hart and has a great sound. It's ready to go for CCM radio today and carries a message of truth not often heard on the platform. So many songs today talk of vague struggles, but Armstrong is putting God's power on display detailing how he was delivered from jail and years of drug abuse. This type of honesty and relatability is what a lot of CCM is missing today.

"Paradise" (and his newest single "Love More Wild") are both excellent examples of what CCM could be today. While musically they are in a similar mold to what you're used to hearing, lyrically they are a fresh display of something new. Fans of for KING & COUNTRY and other similar CCM artists should pay attention to Taylor Holland Armstrong's new music. His story of redemption and his faith journey are powerful, and his music reflects this in a real way. Armstrong has more songs planned for 2024 and the strong start has me excited to hear what he releases next.

- Review date: 2/16/24, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com

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JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 1 track: 4 minutes, 6 seconds
. Street Date: January 16, 2024
. Buy It: http://lnk.to/tha-paradise

  1. Paradise (4:06)
spacer     Click For Song Lyrics



  • Jesus Freak Hideout (Michael Weaver): How long were you out of music completely before you started writing this new material?

    Taylor Holland Armstrong: I stopped doing music as a full time touring musician in 2009 because of a developing drug addiction to opiates. I then tried again in 2012 with a different group of dudes, played some shows, wrote a demo, only to fail again due to serious drug use. I put it out of my mind and just focused on getting sober, being a good husband and dad. For 9 years I cut hair and thought that music was just something I couldn't do because it always seemed to end in me using again and losing control. I wrote a song for my mom who passed away in 2020, but that was just a one off and I didn't consider actually pursuing music. But then in 2022 I felt this nudging from Jesus to write music again, but this time I knew that it had to be worship, it had to be for Him. After praying, and having God confirm it through various signs and people speaking over me, here I am, writing music for God, pursuing it with all that I can, finally using the gift He gave me for the kingdom. God is so good, I don't deserve anything, and He has blessed me beyond anything I could imagine.

  • JFH (Michael): The current CCM market can use music like "Paradise," but is there any desire to do heavier music again?

    Taylor: No, not at this time, I still love heavy music, there are some amazing Christian bands that do it so well. I will always use some of what I learned through singing heavy music, singing with conviction and raw emotion, but I feel God is calling me to make the worship music that I'm making now.

  • JFH (Michael): How did you get teamed up with Sam Hart for these new songs and what drew you to this sound? It's a stark difference to what you were doing with your old band.

    Taylor: It was a total God thing, I was literally googling "Christian producers" in Tennessee before we moved here. He was like the second dude on this list of up and coming Christian producers that some magazine had put together, I clicked his website, saw pics of his studio and a pic of him, and just felt like God said "that's ur guy." I didn't even listen to anything he had done, I scheduled a zoom, we chatted for an hour, I instantly felt a bond and a connection and I was in. It wasn't until I actually started working with him that I realized what a talented and legendary dude he is.

  • JFH (Michael): I definitely hear shades of an artist like For King & Country in your new music. You obviously have a background in punk and metal, but what artists are inspiring you today?

    Taylor: Man, it's crazy I didn't set out to sound like anyone, I always really loved Zach Williams, and thought maybe I would pursue a similar sound musically, but it felt disingenuous as I'm not a country dude, I'm from the beach in California. Sam and I stumbled upon this sound, I don't even know what genre it fits in which is so sick. I'm super inspired right now by Brandon Lake, Maverick City Music, Stephen Stanley, Benjamin William Hastings, Ben Fuller, Zach Williams, Chris Renzema, Elevation Worship to name a few in the "Christian music scene." My favorite all time gospel/christian singer is Johnny Cash, the stuff he did towards the end of his life is so good and honest and raw. I'd love to cover "the man comes around" one day.

  • JFH (Michael): I like how you saw a parallel between the thief on the cross and your own personal story. Can you talk about the writing of "Paradise" and just what it means to you personally?

    Taylor: In short, I wrote that song because I have felt like the thief on the cross, or the prodigal son, so many times in my life. Like, just feeling like I'm undeserving, and the life I led for a long time in the past should disqualify me from grace and Christ's love. That song was just me trying to put that into words. The bridge melody and lyrics, the hallelujah part, was the first melody I came up with when I started to step into God's call for me to do music. It had been rattling around in my brain for a year before making that song with Sam.

  • JFH (Michael): I know you have more songs planned for 2024, but are you looking to put together a full album in the future?

    Taylor: I would love to put out a full album, I have 5 songs currently that I've done or that I'm completing with Sam. I'll release those as singles 4-6 weeks apart and then probably do acoustic/live unedited versions of 2-3 of them. And then I'll just see what God wants me to do. I'm going full send on this thing, it is my absolute intention to make this thing my full time gig and release a TON of music in 2024, God willing.

  • JFH (Michael): Is there anything from your personal life and story that you'd like to offer up as advice? Or maybe there's something you could say to someone who may find themselves in a similar struggle that you faced?

    Taylor: We are never too far gone for God's grace and love. He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you despite all of your shortcomings. He says he came for the sick, and that is me, I need Him, without Him, I'm a ship lost at sea. If you struggle with drug/alcohol addiction, or any addiction for that matter, I suggest bringing it into the light, don't keep it hidden. When we hide things out of fear is when the devil does his best work. After addressing it, find a Christ-centered group or community of like-minded individuals who share your struggles. Get honest, do the work, and seek God. The Bible is full of imperfect, flawed and lost men and women, who God then pursues and uses for His glory. You are never too far gone to come home to Jesus. Trust me, I know, I've been gone, and yet I stand before you today a changed man.



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