E58 Worship, the worship team of Expression58 Church in Glendale, California, has released its debut album, Make Way. The group's debut album started when E58's music community (that is, artists, songwriters, worship leaders and more), submitted original songs to perform at the church. Twenty music community members attended a retreat and came back with 20 original songs. Eight of which were featured on the group's 12-song debut album.
Make Way features eight of Expression58's worship leaders: Sharon Piedt, Jeremy "Jez" Fowler, Morgan Dahlgren, Reeco Butcher, Dan and Michelle Lutz, Matt Sallee, and Wendy Vides. Michelle and Dan produced the album.
According to a press release, "The band is as diverse as the music, with vocalists from the U.S., Australia, Barbados, and South Africa." All eight are a mixture of ministry leaders, and music and entertainment pros. Together, the group recorded the songs for Make Way, live at the Expression58 Church in Los Angeles.
Dan took some time to answer a few questions about the songs on the album.
I love the way this tune has developed. It started as a sort of Scottish or Irish folk song feel. It was pretty different sounding. But, over the course of a few months, sitting with the song and trying it in church, it developed into its current vibe. "Freedom" is such a dynamic song. I love how the verses build into the chorus. The band was having too much fun playing this one live.
I remember Wendy sending the voice memo of this song to my wife, Michelle. She was worshipping at our house, singing this tune. Michelle made me sit with her at the piano to map it out. So we could perform it that Sunday. I think "Powerful God" matches its name in what it carries--power. This tune became the cry of our house as soon as we introduced it.
I had the pleasure of co-writing this tune. It's something that I don't usually get to do. But this was easy and such a pleasure. I had an idea for the chorus: to describe God's love as a wildfire. At first, I didn't know how to approach the verses. But once we started talking about what God wants to exchange in our lives, we unlocked the door. When we tracked the demo, we didn't have lyrics or a melody for the bridge. We just had chords. When Sharon sang the demo, she improvised the bridge. And that's the bridge we kept.
Michelle and I will occasionally have the team over to our house for social gatherings, meetings, parties, meals, and so on. Jez was over one night. He sat down at the piano and played this song. We all listened and worshipped. We were moved by this piece. It was my first time hearing one of Jez's songs. I became a fan instantly. He has such a gift, blending a lyric with the right melody. This song is just so beautiful. It's one of my favorites on the album.
"Filled With Heaven"
Reeco was the perfect guy to deliver this song. He's a wonderful worship leader, with a solid heart. This song will appeal to everyone. It's a feel-good, truth-telling, heartfelt tune that a listener can sing over and over. It's a declaration you can make in the storm. Or a song you can sing from the mountaintops.
"As The Sun Rises"
"As the Sun Rises" was one of the first original songs we tried as a church. It's such a simple tune, yet carries some serious weight. I love hearing Morgan and Jez worship together. Morgan is a powerhouse. I remember hearing her sing from the congregation before she was even on the team. She could sing over the band on a Sunday from her seat. We captured something special on this tune.
"Love Goes On"
We came back from our writer's retreat with 20 songs. They are pretty solid tunes: some for worship, some not so much. "Love Goes On" wasn't really on our radar. But, we were looking for some up-tempo choices. So we revisited this one. It became such a fun tune to sing at church. And an anthem for our kids conference, TRIBE. Reeco brings all the energy and passion he has to this tune. We get to rock this one. And, we have a blast every time we sing it.
"Love Has Overcome"
When Morgan sang this hook to us, we all wanted to add this song to our setlist. It's another tune that has become a cry for our church. Our community has latched on to this lyric. The intention of "Love Has Overcome" is to declare that nothing will stop our Father. No weapon formed against us will prosper. God has defeated death, and love has overcome.
The song is the namesake of our first album. It comes from Wendy. I'm pretty sure this is the first song Wendy had written. I remember her having some fear about presenting it. But when she sang it, she was confident, strong, honest, and passionate. The song became an instant favorite in our church. It became the song we'd sing when we wanted to declare truth. To invite God to move and inspire faith. It's a big song and every note carries hope.
I love the picture this song paints and the journey it takes you on. This is the most epic tune on the album because there are so many places it goes. It's a song for battle. A song you sing to yourself when you're unsure. A song you sing when you're facing big obstacles or impossible situations. You can hear the band really "in it" on this one. They play their hearts out and create a beautiful atmosphere on the outro, allowing things to settle and stay connected in the moment. This one might be my favorite.
We had such a special moment on our recording night. When we got to this song, everyone took a deep breath. We let go and pressed in. Jez and Michelle led us all in worship during this song. Everything else faded away and we set our eyes on Jesus. We forgot that we were recording. And we just came together as a family. I hope you can hear it, because it was really special.
Whenever we sing this song, we all smile. There's something so joyful in singing about how God delights in us. How we're all His family. No orphans. It was an easy choice for us to end the night with this song. It sums up everything we are singing about and living out. I love hearing Michelle sing this song with so much beauty and fire. We have so much fun playing this song every time. And, we hope you carry it's message with you each time you listen.
Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 10 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.
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