R&R’s most played Christian rock band of 2004 and recipient of 2005’s Modern Rock Album of the Year GMA Award, Sanctus Real, is slated to release their third national studio album, The Face of Love, April 4.
Popularly known for its trio of No. 1 radio hits, including “Everything About You,” “The Fight Song” and its cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day,” as well as it’s best-selling album to date, 2004’s award winning Fight The Tide, Sanctus Real collaborates with producer Chris Stevens (TOBYMAC, Shawn McDonald) for The Face of Love.
The resulting album contains hard-hitting songs portraying universal themes of love, brokenness and the sometime elusive sense of God’s presence. Inspired by real-life heartache and rediscovered joy, the emotions behind each track are vulnerable and undisguised, making this album the band’s most accessible project of their career and exhibiting the band’s progression both musically and lyrically.
“Sanctus Real has just delivered their best record to date with The Face of Love,” says Peter York, EMI CMG Label Group president. “The album is filled with great songs with infectious melodies and compelling lyrics. Matt Hammitt’s vocals are better than ever, the musicianship is outstanding and the collective efforts of the band and their producer, Chris Stevens, reflect exponential growth. Urgency, honesty, vulnerability and an uncompromising commitment to embrace faith and life is what this record is all about. I want everyone to hear it.”
The story of The Face of Love, inspired by Brennan Manning’s The Signature of Jesus, begins last February with the birth of drummer Mark Graalman’s first son Benjamin. Shockingly two hours after Benjamin was born and one floor below the happy celebration, Graalman’s father was diagnosed with cancer. During this same time, the grandmother of vocalist Hammitt became gravely ill. She eventually ended up in a local hospice care facility in a room next door to Graalman’s dying father. Shortly afterwards, the band’s bass player, Steve Goodrum, decided to leave to pursue other interests. New member, bassist Dan Gartley joined the band last spring after touring with Relient K.
All of the complex emotions generated by Sanctus Real’s circumstances were channeled by producer Stevens into the band’s songwriting, turning their grief-stricken passion into powerful, emotive studio performances. Taking a page from the Psalmist’s playbook, the band found strength in confessing to God its fears and frustrations. Peace began to replace the emptiness, and in their brokenness they found they could again sense God’s love.
The album’s opening confessional and first single serviced to radio last week, “I’m Not Alright,” locates the singer in desperate human brokenness, requiring him to move closer to God for strength.
“As soon as I listened to ‘I’m Not Alright’ I added it!” exclaims Shannon Steele, KDUV FM (Visalia, CA) music director. “Sanctus Real delivers a song that’s as real and relevant as you can get. This song has the hook and heart to be a hit!”
Poised for breakout in 2006, the band is taking all their emotion and new zeal for life on the road to headline a national tour that began yesterday in Idaho and features special guests The Afters and Mainstay. The tour hits such markets as Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Dallas, Phoenix, Seattle, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Toledo and more. Sanctus Real members have become well known for their captivating live performances, even capturing the attention of the CBS Early Show, MSNBC and more.
Brentwood, Tennessee-based EMI CMG Label Group is comprised of the Forefront, Sparrow and worshiptogether labels and is a division of the EMI Christian Music Group. EMI Christian Music Group is the world’s largest Christian music organization and includes EMI CMG Distribution and EMI CMG Publishing in addition to EMI CMG Label Group. It is part of EMI Group, the world’s largest independent music company whose other U.S. labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Latin, Narada and Virgin Records.
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