Rend Collective (formerly known as Rend Collective Experiment) is a family of songwriters and worship leaders from Ireland who've been around for a few years but are starting to get some deserved international attention. My wife bought me their album Handmade Worship by Homemade People last Christmas, which shows impressive versatility. In this album, they matched the skills and creativity of any professional worship band, as well as Sarah MacLachlan and Mumford, and they involved the banjo, cello, dulcimer, mallet percussion and brass, just to name a few instruments. Their latest album, The Art of Celebration, was released this past St. Patrick's Day and focuses on Celtic folk very well. Their currently on their Art of Celebration Tour.
Rend Collective's lyrics and approach are very mature and biblical. They refuse to list band member names on their albums and say there are no rockstars here, just servants. "Collective" refers to the fact that we are all the Body of Christ. One member took time to tell us about Compassion International, while another told us about the devotional theme of the album.
"I don't know about you Americans," he said, "but us Irish are really grumpy. Don't believe the Lucky Charms. This is why it's called 'the art of celebration,' not 'the natural inclination to celebration.'" Through the lyrics of the songs, we were all well-encouraged to celebrate our freedom from condemnation and the power and love of God, and to choose joy.
Rend Collective is a creative, mature and much-needed addition to the playlist of Christian worshippers today. Again, their live worship leadership was a very refreshing and encouraging experience. If you're not familiar with Rend Collective's work, I'd encourage you to visit their website and YouTube page. Below is their video about the story of their most recent album.