“I was listening to the radio one day and I said to myself, ‘If I hear one more song telling people to kill themselves and go to hell, I’m going to have to put a record out!’” exclaims Lacey. “I just think it would be a good thing to have a voice in the mix of all the hopelessness that actually gives you a light at the end of the tunnel; a voice that’s still honest about the pain and struggle, but can also scream, ‘Hey, wake up and be alive because there’s hope!’”
Sturm adds, “I really started to value my relationships and the people around me. We started as a group of artists in our hometown of Pittsburgh and Life Screams was kind of an accident.”
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Screaming Against the Shadows| Posted February 12, 2016
There are occasional key voices who are seemingly divinely placed in the right corner of culture at the right time to speak desperately needed truths. Lacey Sturm is one such voice.
The hard rock vocalist worked tirelessly in her role with Flyleaf to carry messages of life to the most desperate hearts through her powerful screams and even more powerful testimony. Although it's been over three years since Lacey stepped down from Flyleaf and her vocals were last heard, she hasn't been silent in the time intervening. Her first book, The Reason: How I Discovered A Life Worth Living, told her story and spoke to a generation in a whole new way.
Lacey's debut solo album Life Screams could in many ways be the soundtrack to the story told in that book. The songs walk through the place of soul-searing emptiness that comes from tasting all the beautiful vices the world has to offer and coming up empty, leading towards an encounter with a God who satisfies every empty place in our spirit with His unbreakable love. Lead single "Impossible" encapsulates this message, ecstatic screams declaring that even the breath in our lungs is a sign and a wonder from God, proof of His grace.
One of the first questions of longtime listeners is likely to be whether or not Lacey carried the heavy sound in early Flyleaf projects to this new venture. The first few tracks immediately answer that question with rich, grungy guitar riffs and otherworldly screams. Songs like "I'm Not Laughing" (with its cleverly grating, half-mocking guitar riff) and the haunting "Rot" (complete with a chilling conversational intro found in "Vanity") explore the empty places of this world with a raw honesty that cuts to the core. "Feels Like Forever" captures the collision of those dark places with the blinding light of God's holiness and redemptive love.
Heartfelt "Not Alone" is another album highlight, expressing through a soaring melody the truth that although human hearts will never be enough to save each other, we can point each other towards the eternal Love that can. "Life Screams" and "Faith" take a softer tone both musically and thematically as they display the joy of walking in divine light.
The fact that the album is largely structured to move from the dark, heavy tracks into songs of restoration and life creates an internal narrative that draws the listener in from beginning to end-- a rare feat for an album in a world increasingly fixed on singles. The only moment that feels like it deviates slightly from this story is a poignant live cover of The Police's "Roxanne," reimagined with redemptive lyrics.
The Bottom Line: With Lacey Sturm's Life Screams, the first major rock release of the year may also be the best. Deeply satisfying gritty guitar, chilling vocals and lyrics that speak hope into places of absolute desperation make Life Screams a vital addition to the rock genre, and to a world desperately needing to hear there is Life screaming in even the darkest places.
Song to Download Now:
"Impossible" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Lacey's Life Screams Out To The Rest Of Us| Posted December 30, 2016
Lacey Sturm caused a riot when she left Flyleaf. She had so many fans waiting for more music from her, so when "Life Screams" came out, millions flocked to buy a copy. It was well worth the wait.
The album begins with the strong lead single Impossible. The lyrics celebrate the ability God has given us to live the impossible, to do things we never could've done if we were on our own. The line Every morning I see another miracle harkens back to Lacey's autobiographical book "The Reason". Songs like The Soldier and Feels Like Forever encourage us to trust, fight for and hope in God, even when it feels as though we will never conquer the darkness around us. The song Rot warns of a detrimental lifestyle that will only bring the person to ruin and hopelessness and it screams out for God's aid. Run To You and Faith are softer tracks that tell of tender love, with it's struggles and challenges along with it's joys. I'm Not Laughing calls out bullies in their act, with Lacey screaming repeatedly I'm not like you/ I'm not like you/ I'll never be like you. You're Not Alone deals with just that: the feeling of being alone in your life. It reminds many very strongly of Lacey's younger days of feeling abandoned and useless. The title track, Life Screams, urges listeners to become receptive of the miracles and wonders arounds us. The spoken word track, Vanity, is a prelude to Rot that uses amazing imagery and features artist Propaganda. The live cover of The Police's Roxanne is a very passionate rendition.
Overall, this album, both lyrically and musically, was a hit and has fans thanking the Lord for calling out to Lacey, which enabled her to call out to so many of us.