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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Rend Collective to bring joy-filled worship music to Rudder

Beards, banjos and bow ties aside, Rend Collective’s music is a genre of its own.
A blend of indie and folk, the band is from Bangor in Northern Ireland and has a sound that has been compared to Mumford and Sons. As a part of their first nationwide headline tour for the new album “The Art of Celebration,” Rend Collective members will make a performance stop on campus Friday.
Band member Chris Llewellyn said worship bands in general have a preference for ballads of intimacy and even ballads of intensity toward God, but said they realized an element of joy was missing when they were working on the new album.
“The thing that is missing sometimes in worship is just that sense of joy and freedom,” Llewellyn said. “If you read the Psalms, of course there are laments and there are difficult questions grappled within there, but the vast majority of the Psalms are just encouragements to lift up our voice, to lift up a loud shot for the Lord and to celebrate his faithfulness.”
The band said recently it has made a point to reevaluate its relationship with God.
“We kind of realized that we have been pursuing after a serious relationship with God rather than a joyful relationship with God and there’s not anywhere to suggest that we should do that in the Scriptures,” Llewellyn said. “You know Galatians 5 tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit, but nowhere is seriousness mentioned.”
Llewellyn said he knows celebration is not always a natural reaction but said celebration should be pursued like a craft or an art.
“I suppose we’ve just been trying to get to grips with celebrating in every season of life,” Llewellyn said. “You know there are songs on the record — the first line of the first song of the record really sets the tone saying that we’re choosing celebration. That’s what it is. Celebration is always a choice to make even in the midst of our trials and our suffering.”
Llewellyn, who was away from his fiancée, now his wife, for months as they were trying to plan their wedding, said most of the “Art of Celebration” was written out of times of difficulty.
“Normal road life is not the easiest lifestyle for writing a celebration record, but we actually wrote and recorded the whole record while touring,” Llewellyn said.
Llewellyn encourages students to choose to engage their faith during difficult times.
“I think for us even as we entered college age and started moving into our twenties we found that it was really hard for us to hold onto the kind of simple childlike faith we had whenever we were in youth group,” Llewellyn said.
Hannah Willard, interdisciplinary studies sophomore, said she is a fan of the band and loves Rend Collective’s unique style and song lyrics. She said the band has lack of precision that makes it stand out.
“This may sound strange as I am a music minor and precision is usually a good thing, but the fact that this group is simply a group of people singing together and their voices have not been altered or perfected by technology adds charm and a unique quality to their sound,” Willard said. “Not to say that they are unprofessional, but they sound like they are really singing with passion and not focusing on the precision or musicality of it. These are real people with real musical abilities making music together and that is what I love about them.”
Kathleen Bautista, management information systems senior, said she is going to the concert Friday.
“I’ve never been to a Rend Collective concert before, but I am so excited to go,” Bautista said. “They have such a fun, catchy sound and their lyrics are so meaningful. Their experimental style is exciting and different.”
Llewellyn said the band could not do a tour of the U.S. and skip Texas. He said it is going to be an awesome night filled with surprises.
“We’re trying to lead a time of really joy filled reflection on God and what He’s done for us,” Llewellyn sais. “And yeah, we’re probably going to have a dance party.”
“The Art of Celebration” tour will be in 25 states and last more than 50 days, ending Oct. 30 in Tennessee. Rend Collective will play at 7 p.m. Friday in Rudder Auditorium.

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