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JFH Music Review


Love Is..., Shelter EP
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Love Is...
Shelter EP



Album length: 5 tracks: 18 minutes, 5 seconds
Street Date: May 29, 2012


Come&Live! has gotten pretty busy lately signing some fresh and new talent to its roster. The most recent of the bunch is young indie/alternative group Love Is..., headed up by frontman Brett Miller who writes and performs all the music on his own. His first release was a self-titled EP in 2011, and his first official Come&Live! release is a five-song EP called Shelter.

Shelter starts with a mid-tempo song called "Grace." As soon as Miller's vocals come in, the listener may be somewhat reminded of Copeland. The vocals are soothing, but still carry enough weight to express Miller's message, and they fit well with the Abel-like indie rock. It's a humble song, as he seeks for his all to be replaced with that of God ("Grace fall down, embrace this world You made, empty me God, I want your blood in my veins"). "Dear God" comes in very slowly, with a tenderly-played guitar accompanying Miller as he sings his love to Jesus. He also sings both sides in a conversation of sorts between himself and Jesus. I love the lyrics "If I lend You my heart, will You sync it to beat just like Yours?" as He responds, "I'll fight for your heart till you know, you're so far from alone." The lyrics are a reflection of what the beginning of a relationship with Jesus looks like, and the down-tempo alternative music matches it perfectly.

The title track is a highlight among the songs here, sounding like somewhat of a hybrid of Ascend the Hill and NEEDTOBREATHE. In Miller's own words, "'Shelter' is all about the journey from brokenness to safety...this song revolves around the simple fact that the reason we face trials is to drive us closer to Christ." We see examples of this in the two short stories he cites in the four minutes of this song: a woman who fears her future because of her dark past and a man who fears he doesn't have a future because of a newly discovered illness. The subject matter is a little dark, but the song doesn't close before reminding the listener of the light that casts out the darkness. One of my favorite tracks, musically speaking, is "Eyes Closed." I love the meandering-yet-structured guitars in the verses, as well as the chorus that features some driving rock, but doesn't drown out Miller's vocals. Lyrically, it's a pretty cool track too, as it comes directly from a dream that Miller had that changed his perspective on how to live his faith in day-to-day life. The closing track is an intimate love song called "Stay," and it finishes the EP on an excellent note. It's just Miller and an acoustic guitar that he plays oh so magnificently (though I can't help but feel like Jesus was in the room with Him as he was recording the song). Miller makes mention of wanting to share the Lord with everyone else, and uses some intriguing imagery to say so ("If You're the moon, I want to be what shines on You for the world to see who You are to me"). If you happen to listen to this album during some quiet time, "Stay" will probably have you in tears before song's end.

Love Is... is one of top new artists I've yet to hear in 2012. Shelter just happened to come out of left field and into my ears, much to my pleasant surprise. Waste no time in getting a copy of this if you're a fan of indie rock like Abel, My Epic or Ascend the Hill. Thanks to Come&Live! for introducing us to Brett Miller, and hopefully we get more lovely music from this young man in the very near future.

- Review date: 6/12/12, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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. Record Label: Come&Live!
. Album length: 5 tracks: 18 minutes, 5 seconds
. Street Date: May 29, 2012
. Buy It: Bandcamp

  1. Grace (3:31)
  2. Dear God (3:32)
  3. Eyes Closed (3:35)
  4. Shelter (4:03)
  5. Stay (live) (3:25)

 

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