Overflow, which takes its name from Psalm 23:5, sprang from their church youth group.
Third Day's Mac Powell, who executive produced A Better Place, has called Overflow "a young Third Day." The group consists of five members, all in their early to mid-20s: guitarist and primary lyricist Mark Breazeale, in many ways the band's spiritual leader; drummer Will Carter, bassist Josh Cromer, keyboardist Matt Hayes; and vocalist Tom Pellerin, who also plays rhythm guitar. Four-Tom, Mark, Will, and Matt -can't recall a time when they didn't know each other.
"The band formed right before we started high school," recalls Tom. First, Tom and Will started playing together. Mark and Matt came in high school. Josh is the group's most recent addition, starting as the group's road manager, then joining on bass when the opportunity arose.
Josh, also a South Carolina native, says his upbringing parallels the other four band members. There's one significant difference, though: Josh comes from three generations of carnival concessionaires, giving him access to a world that's closed to most people.
"It's their own little subculture," Josh says of carny life. "They know they're kind of excluded from the rest of the world because a lot of people won't have anything to do with them. It taught me a lot about not judging, because some of them are the neatest people in the world."
Overflow met NewSong's Scotty Wilbanks, who wound up producing the band's album, via email. Scotty played some of the group's early sessions for Mac Powell, who quickly became a fan as well.
"Their songs really drew me in," Mac says. "For guys as young as they are to have such great songs and a great sound at this time in their career, there's some incredible potential here."
"Mac and Scotty were both very influential in shaping the songs," says Josh, "They helped us find the right melodies and the right hooks. They showed us what needs to be in a song to make it great."
"Mac was never pushy about his ideas," says Will, "though he had every right to be. He was always coming up with great ideas, but he always wanted us to make our own decisions."
Overflow singer Tom Pellerin vividly remembers a girl who approached him one night following a concert. She'd had a fight with her father, who'd committed suicide shortly after their falling out. Estranged from her mother and sister, the girl literally felt alone in the world. But something about Overflow's songs drew her in.
"She just wanted somebody to talk to," Tom recalls. "Since we're in a band, it's easy for some kids to come to us and talk. She said one of our songs helped her out and gave her a sense of hope."
"That's the underlying theme of our CD - a sense of hope."
That sense is pervasive throughout the Essential Records debut from the young South Carolina band. It's apparent from the unabashed exuberance of songs like "Better Place," "Forever," "Gotta Believe It," and "My Days Are Better." It's obvious in the raucous chords and cascading pop/rock riffs of "Anything But You," "Don't Run Away," and "What's Missing."
During more than three years of touring independently, Overflow has developed a strong affinity for youth groups, church camps and conferences.
"Youth camps, we love doing that," Tom says. "We'll do activities with them - scavenger hunts, basketball, whatever the youth minister has going on." The entire band has fond memories of not only acting as the praise band for worship services, but leading Bible studies, even serving as counselors. "It's a great opportunity to witness to people," Tom says.
"We feel called to the Church, whether it be the actual church establishment or places like youth camps," Josh says. "We know all bands have different callings in ministry but for the five of us, being brought up in the church and knowing how important that was to our development, we want to offer encouragement and stay focused on the church."