Formerly in their past three albums, Esterlyn could have been pegged for a pop punk Christian band similar to Hawk Nelson, touring with bands like Kutless and Thousand Foot Krutch. And though they’ve gained success as that, topping iTunes charts and being featured on Billboard’s website, Woven will turn heads and set this band down a completely different path of accolades than before. Undergoing a major makeover, this record is the ideal balanced blend between the musical creativity and nuances of Gungor, rock drive of Switchfoot (with an uncanny resemblance to Jon Foreman’s vocals), along with ambience and lyrical melodies comparable to Hillsong. Woven contains passages straight from Scripture in addition to original lyrics written by the band’s lead singer, Luke Caldwell, which contemplate God’s restoration of our broken and wandering souls and in response, praising him. Though the lyrical content may be simple and straightforward, it is so in a way that is unique in structure and phrasing, offering fresh meaning to the Church.
Oddly enough, from the start the listener will be pleasantly surprised to hear a sound reminiscent of music that could be showcased in a Chinese New Year Parade, but does so in a manner that is relatable. Featuring an electro-pop, synth feel one instant, and a drum-heavy rock feel the next, this record is musically diverse in the best of ways. The songs avoid the common Christian Contemporary trap of bleeding into one another. Each song presents new lines and rhythms that refresh the listener’s ear. Tracks that shine among the rest are “Holy,” “Everyday Your Love Is New,” “Reflexion,” and “God of Compassion,” a song that has potential to generate a great spiritual, anthemic moment in a time of worship. “Woven” and “6.8.28” are designated times of 30-40 seconds of instrumental meditation, providing Scripture to read over while listening. All in all, Woven is something new and exciting for worship leaders, but not excluding anyone who enjoys good music.
More: Almost every song is congregation-friendly and fairly adaptable to any band setting the worship leader may have.
Less: Nothing much to say here. This album offers a little bit of everything, making it hard to suggest a change in pace or sound.
Lindsay Young, WorshipLeader.com