We are very excited for the forthcoming release from Westside Sings - Join The Refrain. With the release approaching, we wanted to take the opportunity to tell you a bit more about the project in the context of Westside’s ministry.
Westside Sings (WS) is a representation of the collective of musicians at Westside. The first WS release - Delve EP - included several musicians from both our Vancouver and our North Shore campuses. Although it doesn’t involve every single person in our music ministry, the next release “Join The Refrain” involved over 25 musicians from both campuses. From drummers, to pianists, to gang vocals; every song you hear has a diverse and unique arrangement of people. We hope that future recordings from WS includes even more. That’s the big idea of what WS is. A collective of musicians from our church body making music to equip, edify, and build up the church and to ultimately glorify Jesus Christ. Our hope for WS is that musicians would have a place to grow in their gifts and would be sent out into other musical projects within our church. Westside’s All Tribes is an example of this (check out their debut single HERE). Our aim is that WS would be a training ground for raising up leaders to serve within our church body and in future plants/campuses yet to come, Lord willing.
Join The Refrain
This EP goes way back to 2013 when we started tracking Holy is The Lord at Monarch Studios. John and Julia Newton (drums and bass), who were attending the North Shore campus at the time, were involved with Brandon Dorsey and me to get the ball rolling with this track. From there it was just chipping away little by little on each tune, recording what we could where we could. When we came into The Centre it really opened up a lot of possibilities to us including the ability to have a more permanent setup. We are so grateful for this. Most of the drums you will hear on the forthcoming EP were recorded in the auditorium after rigging it up with several mics to capture some of the room’s natural reverb (Kudos to Ben Gadd for his gear research and technical oversight). Some guitars were also recorded up in the auditorium. Others were recorded down in “The Bunker” studio space. We probably got the most creative with the song “Lion of Judah” when we tracked the piano in a vacant washroom that had a wonderful resonance (said washroom is now in the midst of demolitions). The drums in Lion of Judah were tracked in a concrete stairwell at The Centre which gave them an incredibly massive sound. We will be introducing Lion of Judah to the congregation at our Good Friday gathering.
In Psalm 127 Solomon writes “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain”. Our prayer from the beginning has been that God would use the songs that we produce to grow your knowledge, faith, love, and worship of Jesus. As you hear and sing the truth found in them we pray God does just that. Our desire is that the songs we sing would point you to the word of God and to our great King, Jesus Christ. He is worthy. We hope you join in the refrain.
Join The Refrain will be available as a free download at wchurch.ca/music on March 24.
Marc Willerton is on staff at Westside Church, where he oversees the music ministry. Marc is married to Charlene and they have a wonderful son named Oliver.