Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. "Philippians 4:6-7
CADIA is a derivative of the ancient Greek word Arcadia meaning 'a place of peace.' Long time friends Tori and Courtney have banded together to create just such an atmosphere on their debut, self-titled CD. Setting precedent with their recent groundbreaking video "Inside Out," the official theme song and video for Women of Faith's "Revolve Tour," the two are making good on their resolution to encourage young women toward establishing identity in Christ. The album delivers high-energy pop/rock, chock full of catchy hooks, insightful lyrics, and insanely singable melodies.
Exploring a remarkably broad range of subject matter, yet connected by CADIA's trademark harmonies, the project is a natural outgrowth of the girls' life experiences -experiences they insist are typical of most American teenaged girls; experiences that are anything but conducive to 'a place of peace.'
"We are just normal people," says Courtney, who has not yet celebrated her twentieth birthday. "I just want to be real with these girls. I want to tell them that I've been in their shoes, and I know how hard life can be. Life isn't always chocolate and roses. Sometimes life really stinks. But that's okay. Building a relationship with Christ is a journey, not an event."
Tori, who recently graduated from high school, concurs. "You're not always going to feel beautiful, and we totally understand that. We don't always feel pretty. We don't have it all together. We are not perfect; not even close to it. But because of that, I think girls can relate to us. It gives us the opportunity to meet them where they are."
Both Tori and Courtney admit that while their music crosses traditional boundaries of age and gender, appealing to teenyboppers, rock 'n' rollers, schoolboys, and grandmas alike, they have a special heart for girls in their middle school through college years. Those years are crucial in shaping one's future self-image and well-being, a time when young girls most need to be reminded of Christ's unconditional love. And CADIA hopes to be that reminder.
"When I sing, I think about girls I know," Courtney confesses. "Life changes so drastically when you begin middle school. Suddenly, there are hormones, zits, boys, and all kinds of pressure. High school brings a whole new set of responsibilities. In college you are faced with even bigger issues like sex, drugs, and alcohol. This is the age when you are making such important decisions that can affect the rest of your life."
Ask the girls who they're hoping to appeal to with their debut record and they might not say "everybody," but that's exactly what they'll mean. "We try to not put a limit on our audience," Courtney insists. "Our audience is whoever listens to the music. If it touches you, it is meant for you."
Talk about something for everyone: "Trust In Me Now" builds to a power-ballad crescendo, while "I'll Stay" is soulful and emotional. "Curious" packs an angst-ridden rock 'n' roll wallop, then switches gears into a peppy remake of the Martina McBride classic, "This One's For The Girls." "Inside Out" proves the duo can belt out power rock with the best of 'em.
"Shadowfeet," perhaps the album's most intimate song, showcases Tori and Courtney on tag-team vocal leads with pristine harmonies to produce a space for quiet communion. "Jesus" uses classic pop rhythms to underscore its confessional lyrics, while "Only A Prayer Away" as well as "Speak" are heads and tails of the same musical coin, summing up CADIA's contention that life is messy, but help is available if we only ask.
"There have been people who have changed my life, just by being real. They live for the Lord and that inspires me," Courtney says. "Joy Williams' music helped save my sanity when I was going through hard times in high school. We are so excited that she co-wrote the song 'Radiate' for our album." "Safe Place to Fall" rides an emotional rollercoaster of raw and personal lyrics over a lilting, piano-based melody. It was a song that almost didn't make the final cut. "We fought for 'Safe Place to Fall,'" Tori declares. "While a lot of this album really is geared toward girls, this is a song that also appeals to guys. Its message is universal. We strive for the approval of other people, but that is not our ultimate goal. Ultimately the only approval that matters comes from God."
"That song would have saved me during my 7th grade year," Courtney muses. "That was a horrible year. I danced competitively, and spent hours in front of a mirror. I never felt pretty enough; I never felt thin enough. It ruined my spirit. I felt isolated, all alone with no one to relate to. And I know that every girl is going through the same thing, no matter how confident she looks. What makes them feel beautiful, is really ruining them inside. I know, because I was there."
Ultimately CADIA truly is a place of peace, but Tori and Courtney are quick to point out that this place is neither a cocoon nor a walled city, but a space carved out of life's chaos. "It's about turning off the world and walking with God," Tori explains. "The place is a journey, a deeper journey of faith. That's the place that you truly find peace." And CADIA aims to be part of that journey.