by Rachael Goh
Forget the many-piece live bands, big names in the church music scene and the drone of contemporary worship songs just for a little while. All Sons & Daughters features Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, a Christian worship leader-acoustic folk playing duo. Their fresh, organic sound coupled with a pleasant blend of harmonies and sometimes the uplifting overtones of a mandolin might be the break your ears need from the typical church music sound.
Beyond their music style, the songs written by this duo feature around a central theme – connecting broken people with their God, through imperfect, yet authentic, worship.
Perhaps this is why their music is so powerful.
‘Reason To Sing’, one of their most popular EPs also featured in their ‘Live’ album, is hauntingly beautiful. The lyrics speak words we ourselves find difficult to utter in the most desperate moments. “When I’m overcome by fear, and I hate everything I know, if this waiting lasts forever, I’m afraid I might let go.” What’s beautiful about this song is the way it cries out for a ‘Reason To Sing’, for victory and for God’s peace. The final lines of the song are most impactful, where the internal turmoil quietly resolves with a simple reminder that God holds the whole world in His hands.
All Sons & Daughters’ latest self-titled album may well dispel criticisms of Christian worship today as being too self-centric and hyped up. A quick glance through their songlist and it is evident that the bulk of their songs focus on vertical expression – songs sung directly to God, about God. Leslie and David continue to call Christians into places of worship, proclaiming the Gospel and its truth. ‘You Will Remain’, the first track in their album, is based on John 8, where Christ referred to Himself as the Great I Am. The lyrics reflect the ‘constant, unfailing nature of God and His goodness’. “So unchanging Your promise is sure, Never ending Your love will endure, You were, You will be, You always are the Great I Am.”
Their worship is a reminder that in moments of reaching out, be it in the silence of our prayer closets or during corporate worship, God will be there to redeem, strengthen and restore. Worship as a true reflection of the heart, however fragmented, however weak, however strong.
Rachael Goh worships at Mustard Seed Service, and has just launched into working life where she is still trying to figure out the balancing act. Thankfully, God and music still remain constants.
This article first appeared in Issue 11, August 2014 CHORUS Magazine.