Fireflight has always been a band unafraid to offer heart-on-their-sleeves honesty, extending the same invitation to their listeners. With Who We Are, Fireflight is returning from a five year breather to offer up a powerful and timely identity statement.
Who We Are, which will release as two parts (The Head and The Heart), is both a homecoming and something entirely new for the veteran rock group. For this project, founding guitarist and backing vocalist Justin Cox rejoined bandmates Dawn Michele (vocals), Glenn Drennen (guitar) and Wendy Drennen (bass), restoring the band’s founding lineup. Although the band’s last album, 2015’s Innova, was a venture into independently created electronic music, this time around the band set a course back towards rock and roll – teaming with Josiah Prince (Disciple) at the producing helm and a newfound partnership with Rockfest Records.
Who We Are was created following years off the road, years where each of the band members had other jobs to provide financially– allowing them to return to making music purely for the music’s sake. “We said ‘let’s create another record, this time with our support coming from a label that’s independent, a label that’s created for artists by artists,’” singer Dawn Michele recalls. “It’s a totally different experience being able to create under those circumstances. I think it reignited the spark for us.”
That reignited spark is exactly what you’ll hear on album lead single “Who We Are,” a rousing rock anthem from The Head half of the album that seems custom-fit for current events – despite being written a few years ago. The song invites us out of helplessness and into our true identity. “As God’s children, we are the people who are supposed to be the ones who are showing love to others,” Dawn shares. “We’re the ones that are here to be a healing power for the broken systems, the things that are built around man’s ideas.”
Dawn continues with an idea that serves as the album’s crux in our moment of cultural crisis: “I think this is a really interesting opportunity for those of us who follow God to step up and show what God’s love is made of. It’s here for us the day after the disaster. It’s here for us when we have nothing left to give. Now we just have God’s love to give, because we’ve run out of everything we could do on our own power a long time ago.”
In the same way that Fireflight affirms the presence of God through our deepest struggles, they also invite us to be present with each other– something the band models by example. “We’ve always tried to be open with our struggles and open with where we are as human beings,” Glenn Drennen says. “I think that’s powerful, when you hear that someone you know understands where you are.”
“A lot of times, people have come alongside others and have tried to fix them,” Glenn adds. “It comes from a good place, but a lot of times all we want to hear is that they believe us. Not that they’re going to be able to fix it, not that they have the answer for it, but that they believe what we are going through is a real thing.”
“The authenticity that we need to strive for is addressed in that song,” shares Justin Cox, who speaks from several years of experience serving the church in a corporate worship setting. “This isn’t a show. This is your relationship with God. This is your relationship with the people that you go to church with. This is so that you know Him.”
Taking the last few years at their own pace allowed the band to dig into their own experiences in a whole new way. “All of these things that we’re putting into the songs feel like confessions of our own heart,” Dawn admits. “We hope that the pain and suffering and struggle that we’ve experienced in our own lives is going to be congruent with the lives of other people. In doing that, we hope it’s a window into their own heart, their own suffering, their own pain, and their own victory, their own joy.”
Songs that tap into that connection are possible because of the trust Fireflight has built with their fans over the course of five major album releases and twenty years. Years in which Fireflight has weathered their fair share of highs and lows. “You Decide” from their major label debut The Healing of Harms first propelled the band onto the charts in 2006, a space where they would be a consistent force through 2008’s Gold-certified hit “Unbreakable” (Unbreakable), 2010’s “Desperate” (For Those Who Wait), 2012’s “Stay Close” (Now), and 2015’s “Resuscitate” and “Safety” from their independent venture Innova.
The band’s accolades include a GRAMMY nomination, seven Dove Award nominations, over 400,000 albums sold, over 34 million views on Vevo, song placements by NBC and a performance at the Winter X Games. But at every step since their formation in smalltown Florida, their priority has been on the fans.
Consistent Heartfelt Rock| Posted November 13, 2015
Fireflight is one of the best female fronted Christian rock bands. They always delver heart-felt lyrics and have continued to produce a great rock sound that makes you want to take action. I hope this band continues to bring challenges to faith and life with a biblical answer as a solution.
Fireflight is awesome!| Posted June 28, 2012
I love Fireflight's music! I actually know the former drummer, Phee. He goes to my church and I play on the worship team with him. Really cool dude. One of my favorite Fireflight songs is "For Those Who Wait"