We Are Heirs
Awaken Me (EP)
(release date: January 22, 2020)
By Bob Marovich
Not to be confused with the Irish group We Are Messengers, We Are Heirs is comprised of American songwriter Eric Defend and vocalist Ben Bylsma.
Nevertheless, the two Christian pop groups share a musical foundation of dramatic rock with electro-symphonic overtones. We Are Heirs demonstrates its Coldplay-meets-Hillsong United vibe on an earnest three-track EP titled Awaken Me.
Featuring a liquidy electronic backdrop fronted by a persistent piano riff, the title track is a melodic prayer of thanksgiving for being rescued from a metaphoric sleep and given the glory of a righteous life. Despite the musical understatement, a throbbing tension keeps the listener engaged.
The title track and the equally evocative “In Your Ways” were finalists in the Great American Song Contest. The one that wasn’t, but to these ears is the EP’s most distinctive track, is “Hope in You,” a cinematic anthem of resilience. Featuring ethereal voices in harmony, the lyrics march along in lockstep rhythm like a nineteenth-century Shaker hymn.
Though they formalized their partnership in 2019, the Urbana, Illinois-based worship leaders have worked together for some fifteen years. This EP is a promising first effort.
Four of Five Stars
Pick: “Hope in You”