Raucous, folk-rock worshippers Rend Collective Experiment, who recently performed at the Ryman with the Gettys, are known for pushing artistic boundaries, daring the faithful to re-imagine worship and community. Inviting their Facebook and Twitter community to join them to record vocals live outdoors (around a campfire) on Ballyholme Beach in Northern Ireland, the band released the resulting 12-track album, Campfire, amidst wide acclaim Jan. 29. Remarkably, over three months since its release, the album has for the first time on May 6 hit the No. 1 position on the iTunes® U.S. Christian/Gospel chart
As the momentum builds for the album, Rend Collective Experiment’s radio single, “Build Your Kingdom Here,” gathers “Most Added” status at AC radio for it’s biggest week ever at radio. With KSBJ (Houston), New Life Media (Chicago, St. Louis and other IL markets), KBMQ (Monroe, LA), KLFF (San Luis Obispo, CA) KLRC (Fayetteville, AR), KBNJ (Corpus Christi, TX), WAYR (Brunswick, GA) and more playing the song, the companion video that was debuted by RELEVANT magazine has now been seen by over 375,000 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbdJXKqVgtg. Rend Collective members Gareth Gilkeson and Chris Llewellyn also share their hearts about the song in a new video at http://youtu.be/L-TeXSPJiGU.
“We immediately heard the buzz after Rend Collective’s performance on the Rock & Worship Road Show,” says Brian McIntyre, Shine.FM (Chicago/Indianapolis). “That buzz translated to our airwaves, with the song [“Build Your Kingdom Here”] garnering more buzz than any other current. Then research came back showing this as the highest testing song… The song is definitely resonating with our audience!”
Released as a digital only album, Campfire features “Build Your Kingdom Here” along with inventive and often surprising new arrangements of other songs from their 5-Star acclaimed albums, Organic Family Hymnal and Homemade Worship by Handmade People. Campfire is entirely driven by classic, retro folk instruments that could be played by the fire and ocean. The result is an album that captures the raw, rootsy, foot-stomping energy of the Irish worshippers, which has been infectious among audiences across the globe.
In addition to the music, Rend Collective Experiment also offers a “FREE Resource Pack” on their website to churches, ministry groups and others, encouraging them to start “Campfire” outreaches. The resource pack comes complete with 10 chord charts/lyrics for favorite Rend Collective Experiment songs.
“The Gospel burning in you has more in common with the untamable wildfires we see on news reports than the domestic one warming my mum’s living room,” shares Rend Collective Experiment in the Resource Pack. “In short, fire is for spreading, and disciple-makers such as yourself instinctively know this. We are excited for how God will use you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to ignite your community.”
Taking their “fire” to the masses, Rend Collective Experiment follow up their recent US tour with Tenth Avenue North with a headline “Campfire” tour of the UK through June 1 and featuring Ben Cantelon. A list of all upcoming tour dates can be found at http://rendcollective.com/tour/.
For Rend Collective, the music has never been about adding to their coffers or building fame, it has always been about people and building God’s Kingdom here. Beginning as a group of friends collectively wondering how to make sense of the conundrum of life, God and community, Rend Collective Experiment is a nod to the places in Scripture where it says to “rend your hearts” and not your garments, a bold call to be genuine.