We have an announcement, and it is an announcement of three parts.
(With apologies to The Name Of The Wind for the above sentence.)
1. We changed our band name!
Jackie and I spent the years 2008 to 2014 working on the debut album for a band that had no specific name. The first batch of songs we recorded was burned onto CD-Rs and handed around as "Jackie and Matt LeFevers", or maybe Untitled Worship Project (I don't really remember). We brainstormed a few different monikers over the next few years but never did anything with them and eventually, as anything does that you work on for that long but don't name, we just developed a shorthand way of referring to it. "Hey, I wrote a new song for the praise record," I would say, or I'd post some studio pics of my brother Zack "recording drums for the praise record". I don't totally recall when the three words became capitalized but I know there was a sort of collective shrug to it. "I have no good ideas for a band name for the praise record. Why don't we just call it The Praise Record?".
Things we didn't anticipate at the time included:
-making upwards of four records as The Praise Record
-achieving any success whatsoever
(More on that second bullet point in just a moment.)
We thought that (because of the next two things I'll announce) this was a pretty good time to name our band for real. Hence, Map & Compass. We've already retconned the covers of our last two albums to have the new name, but went ahead and left the original 2014 debut under The Praise Record, as we feel our topic matter and material made a noticeable shift in between.
In other news...
2. We have a song published through Convergence Music Project!
The church we lead worship at (One Church in Chandler, AZ) is part of a growing network of progressive, open-minded Christian churches. These various churches around the country are open to questions and doubts, affirming of LGTBQ+ and gender equality, and generally seeking (to use Brian McLaren's phrase) "a just and generous Christianity". Speaking as a worship director, it's very difficult to find good songs that embody those values, and the dissonance of singing upbeat modern worship songs with regressive, theologically unsettling lyrics is a huge part of why Jackie and I are writing the songs we write.
Another person who's noticed this vacuum is Bryan Sirchio, founder of the Convergence Music Project. Launched last month, CMP is a network where progressive Christian churches can find songs that align a lot better with their values. For the first time ever, one of our songs is going to be published and distributed! Our song "Break The Cages" is part of the very first batch of music available through the service, and we're very proud and excited to be partnered with CMP and the other artists who are passionate about making church music like this.
I'm even more excited that there is a venue for this kind of music, because...
3. We've got a new EP in the works!
That's about all the news I have on that front - we have no release date in mind or anything. I'm just really excited about this batch of songs and looking forward to getting several more open-minded church jams out there in the world. (Folks from One Church may have heard a few of these creeping into Sunday services already.)
If you have read all of this - thanks for reading all of this! It's a pretty exciting time to be a band called Map & Compass.
September 23, 2016