The EP starts off with some hope in "Shalom," a Hebrew word for peace, before going into the lead single "Timeless." A couple of tracks later finds one of the biggest pop moments on the album in "Remind." The track features a great groove, is super catchy, and just gets stuck in your head. My personal favorite track follows; "Quick Draw" has a great vocal melody to start the track and the lyrics flow so well. The lyrics find true hope as the chorus hits, "You may feel small, but the Lord over all has your name written on His hand. Mockery and apathy, you have no mastery, and we won't fear your demands. We are children of God." The verse and chorus have a very different feel, but they work well together. The first transition feels a little abrupt with the complete drop out between them, but the flow feels much more natural the second time around. The EP closes out on a short and simple rendition of "Be Thou My Vision," which seems to be a great closer given the theme of the album. Both Graham and Abby have fantastic voices that highlight the already enjoyable musical journey. While Graham does take the lead vocally in most instances, Abby provides excellent harmonies and background vocals while taking full advantage of her lead spots on the back half of "Quick Draw," and at the beginning of "Boy and the Sea."
Wind and Sail's Wild Edge is an excellent addition to a solid year of music in 2023 -- especially from the indie scene. There are some fantastic moments interspersed throughout the EP, but there is never a bad moment. Whether it's a straightforward folk inspired number like "Shalom," the pop goodness of "Remind," or the more string-driven atmospheric feel of "Boy and the Sea," there is something to enjoy all the way around. Music fans drawn to these types of sounds should be giving Wind and Sail a listen today.- Review date: 8/25/23, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Graham Allen: Thank you, that's so kind! Our band is comprised of me (Graham) and my wife Abby. Abby has an incredible eye and hand when it comes to design - she composes all of our album art. All of the singles for the album were acrylic pours that she then digitally manipulated to create different scenes.
The album cover itself was a group effort. Our amazing friend, Lauren Quinn (Mountain to Sea Photography New Hampshire), did an album photo shoot for us at Fort Foster in Maine. The combination of the shore and the lighthouse were strong thematic nods to how we envisioned the music being physically represented. Abby then manipulated the photo to exchange the sunset sky for the stars.
This was intended to partially be a nod to the influence that epic stories and sci-fi has had on our work, and partly a nod to the Scriptural promise of the closeness of Heaven. Christ says the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I often forget that, but my memory doesn't make it any less true or majestically close.
Graham: I'm glad that genre moniker clicks! We actually worked for a while trying to figure out how to classify our music - every artist probably thinks their work is really unique, but we had a hard time genre-sorting our music.
We describe our music as being heavily story-based, with a trend towards the epic and imaginative. Musically we like to meld layered guitars, tight vocal harmonies, and strings. We see a lot of our songs like a movie, sometimes large and cinematic, other times pensive and reflective, and sometimes quiet and comfy.
Graham: It is a huge compliment to hear that the EP translates to you as a continuous work, as we also felt like each song was quite different from its neighbor.
These songs took us 3-4 years to put together, partly because when we had played live, we were "just" an acoustic duo. Yet we wrote songs that we felt deserved much more grand and elaborate production clothing for their recorded version.
That was a huge factor in working with Jeremy. He'd done everything from acoustic duos (I.e. Johnnyswim) to death metal (I.e. Anberlin). So we knew he had the knack for really listening to an artist and bringing out their creative vision.
Jeremy actually said he wanted to work with us because he thought our songs were "weird". That honesty is one of the highest compliments - our hope is to be able to make original art that can resonate deeply with someone, even if it maybe isn't immediately accessible to all.
We came down to our recording week with 18 songs, with the goal of narrowing down to 5-6. We roughly had themed all these songs around the tension between the where we find ourselves (in a broken beautiful world) and where we hope to be (hope both in the large biblical sense and also in the discontented "grass is greener elsewhere" sense). I think the songs we landed on actually tell that story the most cohesively.
We had the vision for elaborate, diverse production but couldn't actualize that vision. Jeremy is legitimately a genius - balancing craft and spontaneity. We really feel like these songs are the combination of all three of our creative visions.
Graham: Funny enough, "Remind" wasn't even on our shortlist of songs! It was one of three songs we had presented for a song that would be groovy, moderately mid-tempo, and catchy. Jeremy immediately gravitated towards it, and it ended up coming together really quickly.
"Remind" is the counterpart to the song, "Wild Edge". Where "Wild Edge" is speaking to a friend who has forgotten hope, "Remind" is inside the mind of that friend. I wrote "Remind" when I was in a place where I knew all of the reasons for hope but couldn't translate that back to my heart.
A few years ago I was wrestling with a lot of pressure and stress, and trying to maintain a facade of composure. This song was written as a prayer to be recalled to the visceral hope that a relationship with Jesus offers us. It also was a confession of this tension: "I'm not okay, but I know that in Christ I actually am okay. Jesus, please reconcile these realities."
"Quick Draw" was the song we felt the most conviction about needing to record. It is equal parts gut punch and worship. For our debut EP, we felt really strongly about wanting to have this song as a clear testimony to the hope of Christ, almost to have as a compass for us as a band.
This came out of processing the loss of one of my best friends to suicide. We work in youth ministry and have continued to see the epidemic that suicide and depression are inflicting on our teen friends. This song was written in the hope of what would I hypothetically want to communicate to a loved one in their moment of desperate darkness.
There is also an element of frustration in the song-as there also is on the chorus of "Wild Edge" ("but you can't just stop in place"). It is part of our witness that we should hate the tendrils that darkness weaves around our hearts.
We labored with the lyrics on this song to balance the delicacy of the subject matter. We actually ended up re-writing and re-recording almost a third of the lyrics after the song was almost complete, because we wanted to make sure we were being precise with our language. Our hope is this song sinks deep and spreads far.
Graham: "Boy and the Sea" is hands down our favorite song we've written. This song was a very intentional effort to meld different influences and ruminations into a tale.
I had spent some time living in Goa, India. I got to absorb a lot of musical and aesthetic impressions that I really wanted to put down into a song. Goa historically had a lot of Portuguese influences, so their local music had a flair of Eastern and almost flamenco vibes. Those really colored the instrumental.
Lyrically, the song is an allegory. The young boy is Wonder personified, whereas the man symbolizes the fatigued modern/Western pursuit of success. In India I got to befriend kids living in the slums. This was the height of what we in the West would look at and say, "poor third world child." But I was shocked and humbled.
I have never found more vibrant community and belonging than among some of these Indian slum churches. I wrote this song because these kids-and the Holy Spirit in them-flipped my concept of privilege. I realized that as a modern, Western, first world citizen I am often wired towards a rugged individualism that prizes accolades/praise/success at the cost of Christian love/community. This song is processing that fact that-when I lose a Spirit-filled wonder-I can become a shriveled soul. It is a prayer to live for and live in a kingdom far beyond AND deeply within the world that we just skim the surface of in our busy sprint to get…somewhere?
Graham: Thank you for seeing it as such. It is honestly really humbling to see it come to fruition and sometimes scary to steward it. We feel like we're holding something precious.
We put a lot into this first release - big Kickstarter project, big production - our hope now is to connect it with folks.
The question is well phrased. We want God to do what He will. And we don't always know what that means. We felt really called to make the songs, and to record them in the way they now are. It is a very live prayer for us now: "God, what now?" We chose to prioritize the music before amassing a large social media presence.
I think the place God is calling us now is to lean into sharing the songs live. We've begun the groundwork for local shows (in the East Coast Midatlantic region) and a Spring tour (likely Midwest/South). God has begun giving traction, we're excited to see what He brings to fruition.
Graham: Our hope and heart is to make music into a community. We'd love for you to be a part of that!
This link will show you our upcoming shows and direct you to our website/mailing list/Patreon/socials: https://bio.site/windandsailsocial
We would be especially excited if you wanted us to come to you! Like I said above, we are leaning into taking our music to different communities. If you want us to play for your town/community/congregation, we would LOVE to open that conversation together.
You are a large reason we make music. Thank you for leaning in. May the Lord richly bless you with the peace of Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit!
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