This will be the band's first release since their label debut album in 2013, The Good King. The band's sophomore album was created over the last two years during a difficult time for leader Cam Huxford within his immediate family and church family. Their well-received debut album The Good King, along with EP's A River With No End and Ghost Ship Live, were released through Mars Hill Music. Mars Hill Church dissolved at the end of 2014, but Ghost Ship continues to do what they've always felt called to do: lead worship and write music that points to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Huxford says that one of the big lessons he learned from the fall of Mars Hill is that "organizations and leaders rise and fall but Jesus' church will continue forever." Each song on the new album mirrors Huxford's devotional time with God during this challenging season.
"If we could tell someone one thing about God's love in a line, what would it be? Well, it's costly. God's love is the most costly thing in the universe, because it cost God's own life," explains Huxford. "We want to acknowledge that we're just reaching for ways to show how costly God's love is. We'll always fall short, and hopefully that just shows how big He is. Something that big is impossible to describe."
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Look What God Has Done
Heavy As the Sea
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Jesus Saves)
Gospel Focused Folk Tunes| Posted August 11, 2015
The sound Ghost Ship has built is one of gentle folk tones underscoring eternal truths expressed in relatable phrasing as comforting as the easy banjo lines. Their latest effort Costly comes from a difficult year, as leader Cam Huxford watched his home church Mars Hill disintegrate at the end of 2014. Now working in partnership with BEC Recordings, the group is undeterred in sharing their soulful worship tunes.
The folk sound is consistent throughout, with fantastic slide guitar buoying up celebratory gospel tune "Scarlet" and banjo lending to the reflective tone in "Provide." The percussion choices are simple but lend tracks like "Adoption" personality and balance.
Thematically, these are songs of declaration and assurance, often voice in the face of struggles. "Fear and Love" reassures beautifully "there's a steady Voice in my ears though they ring. My heart echoes out Your own words as it beats: my child, do not fear, do not fear." Mellow "The Way" sings "There must be a way to live through this, there must be a way for us. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth, the Light. You are the way through this night."
There is also a fair sampling of songs that are fully celebratory, such as upbeat "Look What God Has Done" and "You Loved Us First." They excel in this sound as well, showing skill in creating joyful tones without simply building massive arena-sized instrumentation.
A few years ago, it seemed that quite a few artists were attempting the "Mumford & Sons goes worship" sound, with mixed success. Unfortunately for those who relate to folk music influenced stylings, the phase largely passed without many groups learning how to temper and tone down the style to become something lasting and accessible. The answer to this problem may be Ghost Ship. They are able to employ the folk sounds without it feeling over the top, utilizing it to create joyful and earnest worship tunes that set them apart from most recent worship releases. Especially for those looking for words of worship that they can sing honestly in the midst of hardship, Costly is a timely release well worth your time.