Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 24: Eowyn and her CD “Beautiful Ashes”

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 24: Eowyn and her CD “Beautiful Ashes”

If I had a musical blender and added the voice talents of Shakira and Evanscence, riveting rock ballads from Korn, Static X, and Skillet, a hint of cello and violin, and all mixed together with the Holy Spirit, I would produce Eowyn’s music. I discovered Eowyn’s music through ChristianRock.net and was instantly captivated by the balance of metal music chaos with enchanting vocals proclaiming the Gospel message. Eowyn, whose real name is Rebecca Eowyn Riggins, is a Christian metal diva originally from Tennessee and has produced four studio albums: Shattered Illusions (2003), Identity (2006), Silent Screams (2008), and Beautiful Ashes (2011).

Riggins sees divine purpose in her music by focusing on encouraging listeners suffering from depression, loneliness, and despair. Riggins, too, suffered from periods of depression in her life and feels that she can bring hope to these individuals through her encouraging lyrics. In her own words she states, “It breaks my heart to see people hurting. I can’t help but cry, because I understand what they’re going through, and I truly know how they can be whole again” (Eowyn, 2014, para. 2). How can one be whole again when suffering from depression? It is the healing power of Jesus Christ and Riggins does a wonderful job at proclaiming this truth throughout all of her music. Riggins has also written a book entitled For the Life of Me: Conquering Insecurities and Depression discussing her battles with depression and how one can overcome these pits.

The album I have most listened to by Riggins is Burning Ashes (2011). Burning Ashes (2011) is her first independent CD since she left the music industry in 2008 due to financial hardship. In her own statement about the album Riggins says, “I think people will see the same but also a new artist with this album. I feel being out of the industry for two years really brought me back to the true meaning of why I do what I do” (Eowyn, 2014, para. 5). I found Burning Ashes (2011) to be a phenomenal album and am privileged to have been given this CD by a friend. It is a harmonious balance of gritty rock music to choir like melodies. The lyrics are challenging and parallel common Scripture themes in the Old and New Testaments. My favorite songs on the album are “Fail-safe”, “Dream”, “Cliché”, “Burning Pages”, and “Alive.” “Fail-safe”, “Dream”, and “Burning Pages” should have been on the Divergent movie soundtrack; they were that good!

Two of the three songs I will be reviewing have music videos and I specifically chose them for the purpose of inspiring the readers by what an independent Christian musician can accomplish with the right equipment, software, and an incredibly low budget.

Out of all the songs on this CD, “Dream” is by far one of my favorites. This song resonated with me personally because it currently describes the present spiritual state I am in with my walk with Christ. “Dream” captivates listeners because it discusses the concept of delayed dreams and personal struggles one goes through during the time until they are completed. Like the lyrics of the chorus declare, “dream, just dream. Though your world’s turned to gray and your answers delayed and you don’t want to hear the same excuse again. Don’t you throw it all away. Just dream. Till you do what you say and you live what you mean cause I don’t want to hear the same excuse again. Don’t look back, don’t stop, just dream” (Eowyn, 2011, n.p.).

“Beautiful Ashes” is a song about redemption. The first time I saw this video, I was speechless. Not only were the lyrics incredibly uplifting while being paired with hard alternative rock music, the fact that this video was made by an independent musician inspired me. “Beautiful Ashes” is inspirational in that Eowyn once proves again that the independent Christian artist can make something of their calling by traveling the lessor of two paths.

Riggins inspiration for the song “Cliché” came from her own personal self-examination of her faith experience and how Christians fall into patterns of religious behavior. She also encourages others to not just love individuals in a cliché manner but to actually share Christ. The analogous imagery of the mimes echoes this point like a resounding drum for the Christian to examine their own walk. I know I did. I love the eerie and guttural guitar sounds of the music as well as the set design. It truly reminded me of bands from my metal days but is most inspiring that Riggins is using this imagery to reach out to subculture of the metal music crowd.

Since Riggins is now an independent Christian artist, I highly encourage you to share the links with your friends and family. You can support Riggins through prayer, purchasing her music and merchandise, connecting with her on social media, and hosting her for a concert event. Below is a video summary of her devotional series and I encourage those of you suffering from depression to reach out for help. Riggins also converses with her fan base on social media regularly, so reach out and glean the wisdom of her many years as a successful musician. I look forward to the future fruitful providence that will be produced in her life.

Eowyn’s pages:
Official Website: http://www.eowynmusic.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eowyn-Music/138192782876312
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eowynmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eowynmusic
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCel_hPjeOs9glU-S4r5qzgA

References
Eowyn. About. Official Website. http://www.eowynmusic.com/about/ (accessed May 27, 2014)
Eowyn. Profile Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/138192782876312/photos/a.155175541178036.37486.138192782876312/241673512528238/?type=3&theater (accessed May 27, 2014)
Eowyn, Beautiful Ashes, CD Baby, 2011, compact disc.
Eowyn Beautiful Ashes Official Music Video, YouTube, 4:02, posted by TheEowynmusic, April 25, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9SEAPXezG8 (accessed May 22, 2014)
Eowyn – Cliche Music Video (Official) – HD Capable, YouTube, 3:29, posted by TheEowynmusic, September 21, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcYq33nym2A (accessed May 22, 2014)
Eowyn – For the Life of Me – Bible Study Trailer, YouTube, 4:02, posted by TheEowynmusic, February 26, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQAHJsb9Zl4 (accessed May 27, 2014)

Advertisements

About Me and Social Media Links

I am an independent author and blogger who seeks to use my writing abilities to present the Gospel in fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. I also share sermons on YouTube and Vimeo. I seek to use social media, book discussions, and networking to help promote my works and works of others in the Christian arts community. I am also available as a freelance writer to write reviews for other non-Christian artists. Contact me fore more details at one of my social media pages below. LinkedIn and Facebook are the easiest for a quick reply.

You can visit my author pages on:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barry-Irwin-Brophy/313638695316771
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/barry-brophy/4a/ab9/852
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyBS_zTMgYE&feature=plcp
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/32490518

Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 23: Email Interview with Scarlet Fade

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 23: Email Interview with Scarlet Fade

As divine providence would have it, the Lord has led me to another phenomenal band I am ecstatic to write about in a blog review. Last month, Scarlet Fade was one of many bands I sent an email to inquiring about the possibility of hosting an email interview. Just days ago, Scarlet Fade responded back with their answers. I am beaming with excitement to introduce my readers to their music and the continued movement of the Holy Spirit through the arts, especially music.

Scarlet Fade is an indie Christian band hailing from Connecticut. From the words of their official website, Scarlet Fade states they have been writing and performing music from early years of age. Past pictures of their performances on Facebook confirm this statement of the erudite nature of their music. Over the past five years they have produce four albums entitled The Faithful and the Bruised (2008), Christmas EP (2009), Fix the Pieces (2011), and Revolution (2012). They are currently finishing work on a fifth album soon to be released. Scarlet Fade joins the ranks of other underground Christian musicians sold to the calling of sharing Christ through rock. Their music is an eclectic blend of seraphic songs melded with symphonic chords of gnarled guitars and bass while kept in pace with the tsunami like roar of drums.

I was enthralled to see that Scarlet Fade’s hit song, “Revolution”, had been stomping some of the well known Christian rock bands in the charts in April 2013 like Switchfoot, Fireflight, Nine Lashes, and even one of my personal favorites Disciple. Now, I understand that Christian musicians are all in the same calling together but what I enjoy is how God elevates humble and lesser known Christian musicians above some of the well known ones. A little friendly competition is not so bad now and again considering every Christian runs their own race and receives their own reward from Christ. Before I share the interview, I have posted a play list of some of their music. I personally recommend the lyric music videos below of “Revolution” and “Pages”.

The Interview

Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you or your band, could you tell us a bit about yourself and the band?

Ali: Sure! Well, my name is Ali (bass/vocals) , my bandmates are also my siblings-Jordan (guitar/vocals), Jaimee (keys/ vocals), and Jake (drums / vocals). We’ve been doing the music thing for quite a while and we all have a passion for it. We love traveling and spreading hope wherever we can. That’s been our life goal since we were little so we do our best to follow God’s will for us in everything.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?

Ali: I understood what Christ did for me on the cross when I was 4 years old. I remember being in tears at the realization that someone who didn’t do anything wrong would sacrifice His life so that I may live. So I accepted Christ into my life right then and there and from then on it was a growing process. We all grew up in a Christian home so we always had church and Bible studies- but the most important part of my growth was going through some hard times and realizing I couldn’t control situations- but that God had everything in His hands and already had a plan. It was in those times that I drew closer to Him and realized how amazing and faithful He is.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your current music projects. Music videos, new songs, tours, etc.?

Ali and Jordan: We have a CD called Revolution out right now- the song Revolution hit #6 on the Christian Rock Radio and is still doing great. Currently, we are touring as much as we can and working on a new album in the meantime. We will be posting updates on our Facebook to keep the fans in the loop and involved with what’s going on.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the band to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?

Ali: God has used our personal struggles and His constant faithfulness in those struggles- we talk about what we’ve been through on stage and I can think of so many times that people have come up to me and said how encouraged they were by what I had said or gone through. One of the things I speak about is my struggles with a seizure disorder which I’ve had since I was 4 years old. I was told I wouldn’t be able to drive or be independent, or travel and be in a band, and multiple other things. But God brought me to a place where I knew all I had to do was trust Him and no matter where He led me I would be taken care of. Sure enough I’ve been touring for quite a few years now and I am now 6 months seizure free- my message is that no matter what you are going through you can make a difference and be a light-don’t let anything hold you back from God’s perfect plan.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I hear a lot of negative talk about how Christian rock is not an effective means of sharing the Gospel. What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in America and how can we change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?

Ali: That is a great question. I would answer it with Jon Foreman’s lyric “Love is the revolution”- I think as long as we as Christians love others as Christ loved, then we will have revolutionized the world more than we ever could with anything else. I could play music and talk about how God has changed my life, but what it comes down to is how I live that out and how I view others- Am I loving them? Am I putting others before myself? Am I showing them Christ? That’s what it boils down to for me. Jesus is the ultimate model of love. “Love alone is worth the fight”.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How do you think your music will influence the coming revival?

Ali: We want to start a revolution. A revolution of love, a revolution of Christ’s love, a revolution of ideas, a revolution of self- God calls all of us to grow in Him- to constantly revolutionize ourselves through Him, and then through that we can change the world and spread the hope of His love. I think if others grasp this idea and see our hearts through our music- then our music could help revolutionize thoughts, people, and the world.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to Christian musicians just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.

Ali: If this is what God is calling you to do, never give up. One tradition we’ve started before every show is to pray for God to work and for whatever we are going through at the time.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What software, equipment, etc. would you recommend to someone on a tight music budget or just getting started?

Jordan: For recording, GarageBand is a great tool to use. We use it all the time and the great thing about it is that it comes with the mac computers so you don’t have to pay extra for it. Also, with resources like YouTube it makes it easier to learn tips and tricks for recording. You don’t have to have the most expensive equipment to get great quality. It’s all about how you utilize these tools that makes the difference. As far as gear, there are a lot of good companies now that are making equipment that sounds great for a tight budget. Ultimately, it comes down to the person playing and how it sounds and feels to them.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian musicians who have given up on pursuing their calling because of chaotic hardships in every form imaginable. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what would you say to them?

Ali: God has a plan in all of this. When I go through fiery times, that is always when I write the best songs- just let God work through you in the tough and the good times. You will find that you can minister to more people and connect with more people after going through the hard times. Don’t give up!

Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing thoughts on the interview:
I love the honesty Ali and Jordan were able to state throughout the interview process. To me the calling never gets old. As Proverbs 27:17 speaks about iron sharpening iron alluring to how our traits increase the efficiency of others when we work together, the whole interview process ignites passion in me as I learn about God’s revival spirit infiltrating the music media sphere of influence. Kudos to Jordan for providing us with some tips of creating music on a tight budget. Might be time to trade in my PC and Linux laptops for a Mac to use GarageBand.

It is truly inspiring to see God working miracles amongst the music industry. Ali’s story about the seizures she suffered from reminded me of a worship leader I met in Edmonds, WA. He had a speech impediment so badly that it took him minutes to speak simple sentences but if you had seen him conduct a worship service you would have never surmised he suffered from this. For hours, this man would sing with the most angelic choir like voice without slurring his speech. God truly is amazing and these examples speak countless times about the miracles of God.

Scarlet Fade is climbing the proverbial ladder of popularity and will continue to radiate the light of Christ in their music. Even well known Christian bands are beginning to take notice of their unique music like singer Lacey Mosley from Flyleaf. In her own words, Mosley states “millions of good bands are out there and it takes a unique passion, honesty and humility to make a band stand out among the rest. There is something in the combination of members in Scarlet Fade that pulls your heart into the song. As artists, we want more than just to entertain, we want to inspire- and this band is making that kind of art” (Scarlet Fade, 2011a, n.p.).

I personally look forward to their new album they are producing and await the day when we can see some professional music videos from them. Maybe some of you artists out there could assist and offer opportunities to make this possible. You can support Scarlet Fade through prayer, purchasing their music and merchandise, hosting them at your church, or just connecting with them on social media. It has been an honor to work with their General Manager Tracy Hoffman and to dialogue with them about the passion they share in their music and faith. With the conclusion of this blog review, I would like to leave another music video for you to watch entitled “Pages”. Bring the revolution of love: Christ’s love to a broken world!

Scarlet Fade’s pages:
Official Website: http://www.scarletfade.com/index.php
General Manager’s email: tracy.scarletfade@yahoo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scarletfade
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scarletfade
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ScarletFadeOfficial

References
Scarlet Fade. About Us. Scarlet Fade Official Website. http://www.scarletfade.com/about_us.html (accessed May 15, 2014)
Scarlet Fade. Profile Pictures. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151723091601206&set=pb.38777561205.-2207520000.1400117310.&type=3&theater (accessed May 14, 2014)
“Pages” Official Lyric Video, YouTube, 4:30, posted by ScarletFadeOfficial, May 13, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrz7e6ax9Cg&list=UUflAXJm6WceR_Zh7C7tFSzQ, (accessed May 14, 2014)
Revolution, YouTube, 3:07, posted by ScarletFadeOfficial, January 22, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW73V1oCuSc&list=UUflAXJm6WceR_Zh7C7tFSzQ, (accessed May 14, 2014)