Recording artist and songwriter Chris Renzema announces the April 24 release of his sophomore, full-length album and Centricity Music debut, Let The Ground Rest.
With more than 35 million audio streams of his first album, I'll Be The Branches, over one million Spotify track saves over the last 12 months and Pandora naming him a 2020 "Artist to Watch," Renzema's acoustic, soul-stirring songs shift seamlessly from indie rock to folk worship to Americana; gritty but accessible, profound but listenable. His voice and lyrics cut to the bone as he sings about a hope that slices through life's inevitability, echoing the universality of both pain and praise.
"The heartbeat of whole album is the idea that growth comes from periods of rest, of barrenness. It's a process to see winter move to spring," conveys Renzema, reflecting on the theme behind Let The Ground Rest and first song he ever co-wrote, "Springtime," written with Hank Bentley. "It's a process to exist, to learn and understand God's love. While His love is not seasonal, we go through seasons as we understand and experience it. Spring is not spring without winter, and that process is a good thing."
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A Much Needed Rest| Posted April 24, 2020 What You Need To Know Chris Renzema's sophomore project, Let The Ground Rest, is a follow up to his independently released album, I'll Be The Branches. Let The Ground Rest shows a developed maturity in Chris's songwriting and musicianship, while at the same time, staying true to his folk-Americana style.
What It Sounds Like The acoustically-driven folk style accentuates Chris's voice and vocal style. The timbre of his voice pairs perfectly with the generous acoustic guitar, piano, and cellos. There is never a harshness to sound, but rather a collection of songs that sonically flow seamlessly from one to another. The album is mixed and mastered well, allowing for a listening session that permits the listener to sit with the music and enjoy each and every nuance.
Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights When we listen to an album, we embrace more than just the music. The lyrics come to life. On this album, there are many lines that make you stop, rewind, and think. In "17," Chris considers what his 17-year-old self would think of the man he's become and what God's response to his overthinking is: "Child stop listening to yourself so much/I have made you worthy of My love/You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that's enough." On "Steal Back Your Joy" the lyrics encourage us, "So, go on, steal back your joy/The destroyer's plans are all that are being destroyed/Go on, take back your life/'Cause death's the only thing that's dying tonight/If the thief comes to steal your flame/Well, go on and steal it back again."
Best Song On The Record The album starts strongly with "Springtime." It welcomes us to come, sit, and listen. And, as a front door to the record, the song sits high on the list. It's the last song, however, that leaves the biggest impression. "Let The Ground Rest," the title track, gives hope, which will strike a chord with every listener. The song has such a simple melody with Chris's voice accompanied by piano on the first verse, welcoming a bass line in the chorus, and then the guitar and drums for the second verse, which build up to a climax after the second chorus. It all resolves in the stripped-back outro with just the piano and a promise.
Final Word In this time of sheltering-in-place and physical distancing, hope can be lost as we hear the daily news updates. What Chris Renzema offers us is a project that speaks to hope. Let The Ground Rest is a prophetic message for such a time as this, an album that focuses on hope and a new season. "He'll finish what He starts. He started this I know/If you saw the plans, maybe you wouldn't go/I watched Him plant a seed, then let the ground rest/So child, oh, believe, 'cause I promise there's a harvest."