Amidst so much heaviness consuming events of today’s world, Rend Collective is sharing good news as a response to that brokenness. The Ireland-hailing Rend Collective is harkening back to their roots-y, unique sound – originally birthed out of Bangor, Ireland – for their sixth studio album, Good News, releasing January 19. Taking on the moniker “Purveyors of Good News,” Rend Collective is barreling down the road of authenticity, and simple old-fashioned Gospel. Grown away from industry or formula, each song from Good News is deeply connected to the band’s roots in missional community – a group of people, or extended family, who are united through Christian community around a common service and witness to a particular neighborhood or network of relationships – much like the band themselves.
The title track and lead single, “Rescuer (Good News),” speaks to the band’s desire to shed light in the dark places. In a society that seems to continually face bad news, the lyrics point to the good news found in Jesus for every season and circumstance. “There’s a lot of bad news out there, but no matter what we have good news, and that good news has a name: Jesus Christ. Today there is nothing more powerful we can do in the darkness, in the bleakness, than proclaim the good news, than proclaim the gospel, and that’s why we wrote this song,” says bandleader member Gareth Gilkeson. Writing “Counting Every Blessing” was a personal and vulnerable process for the band. Birthed out of a period of downheartedness, the band made a conscious effort to practice ‘counting blessings’ in lieu of comparison. “Sometimes we spend so much of our time looking at what we don’t have rather than being thankful for what we do have,” shares Gilkeson. “Our time on social media, comparing our lives to others, steals our joy and leaves us empty. God has given us so much and we must discipline our minds to think on our blessings rather than letting them fester on what we think we lack.” Good News is marked with joy and celebration from beginning to end, but it doesn’t shy away from hardship.
Each of the 15-tracks on the album speak to the struggle we all experience in light of the good news we’ve been invited to share in. “All of us make mistakes and hit the ground feeling like we can’t get up again, that our failure is too overwhelming,” Gilkeson shares about the song, “Resurrection Day.” He continues, “But Romans 8 says that ‘The power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of our mortal bodies’. That means resurrection flows in our veins and if Jesus can rise from the dead, we can get up off the floor again, declaring ‘this is my resurrection day.’” With Good News, Rend Collective has chosen not to shy away from the brokenness and suffering, but rather through music and lyric that continues to push boundaries in the band’s own unique way, brings light to the darkness. This album is an invitation to all of us – to lament, to remember, and to share in the good news that belongs to all of us.