Irish celebration band Rend Collective share hope amid the Covid-19 pandemic with their ’Socially Distant Worship Club’, reminding the world to love God through the confusion and messiness of life with their new album, Choose to Worship.
Hailing from Bangor, a small town off the coast of Northern Ireland, Rend Collective wants to be known as a celebration band, worshipping for God’s glory and fame.
And, in their highly-anticipated seventh studio album, Choose to Worship, the quintuplet do just this.
The album, largely written on the road over an average of 120 tour dates a year, features 13 tracks including an acoustic version of their hit single Your Name is Power, which continues to climb the charts, having already reached number seven on the Christian Airplay chart, making it their second highest charting career radio single.
Since the release of their first album, Organic Family Hymnal, the group, which is made up of Gareth Gilkeson, Chris Llewellyn, Ali Gilkeson, Patrick Thompson and Stephen Mitchell – has attracted an international audience with their authentic style of worship, leading to career sales of more than 900,000 albums and over 341 million career streams.
The group saw early success as their first single, Build Your Kingdom Here, peaked at number 12 on the National Christian Audience Chart. Their 2014 release, The Art of Celebration, charted at number one on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart within the first week of its release.
Known for their electric lively worship, the band has been a part of several major tours with top artists such as Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Kari Jobe, Lecrae and more.
The group released the critically acclaimed As Family We Go in 2015, followed by Campfire Christmas Volume 1, their first Christmas record, and Campfire II, both in 2016. The critically acclaimed Good News was released in 2017, followed by Good News: Deluxe Edition in 2018.
And now, the band has entered the next chapter in their musical career with Choose to Worship. Following the pre-order launch of the album earlier this year, the band surprised fans with the release of a special St Patrick’s Day live video performance of the new song Rend the Heavens, filmed on the streets of Dublin. The video has already surpassed 140,000 views.
Talking about their decision for timely cover art, unaware of the coming Covid-19 pandemic, the band said, “We used a labyrinth as our album art concept to reflect the confusing, messiness of life. So many twists and turns, so many little micro decisions, so much uncertainty and doubt, so much fear. In the middle of all this it can be so easy to forget to make the one choice that ultimately makes all the others insignificant: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.”
In light of Covid-19 leaving much of the world homebound, Rend Collective has been posting what have become very popular livestream performances on their social platforms, aptly titled ‘The Socially Distant Worship Club’. They also recently partnered with Christian radio networks K-Love and Air1 for a special stream across their socials.
“Social distance is good for our health and the health of others,” the band said. “We believe in it and support it. But it’s not really good for our souls. So we’d love to hang out, have some worship times together and offer a few wee words of encouragement and truth into this mess we’re all in. We’d love it if you would grab yourself a wee cup of tea and a biscuit and join us – we’re all stuck in the house anyway so we might as well do something constructive and life-giving. Let’s choose to worship together. We plan to do this regularly over the coming days and weeks until this blows over so keep a wee eye out.”
The band’s latest release comes as we celebrate and rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ and is full of joy, hope and love – just what the world needs amid a time of worry, anxiety and uncertainty.
- Choose to Worship by Rend Collective is out now on Rend Family Records.