Music Monday: Thine Worship - Tread Upon The Heights EP

Music Monday:  Thine Worship - Tread Upon The Heights EP 

Release Date:  March 31, 2017 

In an ever-changing music industry, it seems artists are looking at new ways to bring music to listener’s ears; ways which are bucking the trends of the typical “major label release”.  Over the past several months, I’ve noticed more and more EP albums (“extended play” with anywhere from 3-6 songs) hitting the market and influencing the local church.  This method of distribution has certainly become a mainstay for the indie artist.  An even greater advantage is held by those who can develop and produce their own music; something which many within the worship genre are already doing.   

Ian and Lisa McGlynn make up the duo that is Thine Worship; a husband and wife team which call New Jersey home.  Their self-produced Tread Upon The Heights EP released this past March and has quickly become a favorite within my playlist.  The songs are deep and reflective; a refreshing take on worship.  The lyrics for the project were influenced much in part by a time of pain and difficulty.  Ian states, “During a hard season, my wife began writing and her writings felt like lyrics and her words became our songs. The songs became our resolve to bring praise no matter the circumstance - in the middle of the circumstances.  Our hope is that our EP will resonate with others who are enduring a hard season, pain, loss, or disappointment and, in the midst of it all, worship.” 

Those journal-like pleadings are apparent in the first lines of opening track "Before The Mercy Seat": 

Fear and doubt arising 
Surrounded by uncertainty 
On the shores of disbelief 
With heart faint and bones weak 
Manifest Your Presence 
In the midst of all I see 

There is a hope and a longing underlying the message of Before The Mercy Seat; a place where the sinner comes for restoration and redemption (My petition on the threshing floor, before the mercy seat).  What strikes me about this song and the whole EP is how Psalm-like and “real” everything is.  Ian’s vocals lead out as the track builds from a simple piano lead to a full-blown band with electric guitars shimmering in and out.   

I’m loving the piano riff that begins "All Glory Is Yours."  And really the piano carries things throughout as everything else rises and falls dynamically around it.  Ian and Lisa mention Keith Green and Michael W. Smith as influences and it’s readily heard.  Both were/are prolific pianists in their own right with songs of depth and significance for worship.  All Glory Is Yours features a simple chorus line which I think congregations would easily grab ahold of.  It’s the bridge however that takes things to another level both lyrically and sonically...and I’m going to force you to stop right here and go listen:

All Glory Is Yours

Track 3 "Even If" is available as a download as the Free Track of the Month during September at Loop Community (http://loopcommunity.com/u/ThineWorship).  In addition, all of the songs on Tread Upon The Heights are downloadable at Loop Community.  If you are worship leader looking for new songs, check it out!  Even If draws lyrically from Habakkuk 3:19 as the bridge declares “You make me able to tread upon the heights, You make me walk on the mountains.”  Piano-driven with a melody that is easily singable, this track recognizes that even if we face the devastations of this life, God is faithful and He is our strength and bravery.    

As the last song closes, I’m already longing for more and hitting repeat again!  I’m hoping that Ian and Lisa will continue to write, develop, and produce new songs for the church.  I believe the rawness and the honesty displayed in their message connects immediately to the worshipper.  We don’t have to have our lives all figured out and display perfection before we come to the Lord.  We can come to Him in the mess that we have or in the loss and disappointment we feel and He is faithful to meet us right where we are at. 

If you are interested in booking Thine Worship for an event or would simply like to connect with Ian and Lisa, you can reach them at thineworship@gmail.com.  Check out www.thineworship.com to download chord charts, listen to music, and connect to social media links for the band.   

Until the next #musicmonday, God bless!

Derek Charles Johnson is a Christ-follower, worship leader, and songwriter residing in Spring Hill, Tennessee. He can be reached at info@derekcharlesjohnson.com

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