This spring the territorial praise band The Singing Company is releasing its second extended play (EP) called II. The album includes six original songs with themes ranging from no condemnation in Christ in “Overwhelming Victory” to children of God in “With Us” written by the newest band member, Dave Mantel.
According to Eric Himes, band leader, the creation of EP II was different from EP I which was guided by very specific parameters. This year during the creative process, the band explored possibilities, wrote as many songs as possible and then whittled them down to six.
One of the goals was to write two songs: one upbeat and happy and another more poignant. “It seems the happy songs won out; it’s a pretty upbeat album” said Eric. Band member Sam Arias wrote “The Black Hills,” inspired by Psalm 148. Based on Sam’s summer mission team experience at The Salvation Army Black Hills, S.D., Camp, for Native American Lakota Nation children, it’s turned out to be an album favorite.
“I wanted to reach the kids through something I can do, and I can do music,” Sam recalled. “The [Lakota Nation] culture worships nature and the earth. I wanted to write a song that doesn’t just say nature is great, but that we worship the Creator of nature, a God who is bigger.” When Sam shared this song on acoustic guitar, it was met with enthusiasm and arranged for the entire band.
The goal is to release a new EP annually, and the band hopes to make songs available for free download from their website.
The first six-song EP was released last spring and included three original tunes tackling hard-hitting themes like repentance and perseverance. It also included three arrangements of well-loved choruses. All of the songs are available for download from iTunes via The Singing Company’s website.
In addition to collecting CDs or downloads, catch The Singing Company in person during the Boundless Joy Commissioning weekend in Merrillville, Ind., June 12-14, or at Central Bible Leadership Institute, July 25-August 2.
“This year The Singing Company turned 10 years old. It has been exciting to see the band’s evolution and growth,” said Eric, who is one of two original members. “Still the ultimate goal isn’t really music. We want people to hear our songs and be encouraged to grow in their faith. Music is just the tool; the goal is for people to be discipled, encouraged and challenged in their faith.”
For more information on EP II visit www.thesingingcompany.com.
Photo credit: Emily Aukes