In today's culture, to be "basic" is to be someone who is driven by mainstream behaviors and attractions. It's the essence of fitting in, living from the baseline of acceptability.
Lauren DeLeary Budnick and Brooke DeLeary aren't having it.
The sisters, known collectively as the faith-forward pop duo LOVECOLLIDE, have spent their young lives bucking trends, shattering expectations and defying norms--in essence, being anything but basic.
"We like to think outside the box and challenge others not to live the basic life," says Lauren, "but to step out into the unknown and live out the life that God has called them to."
"That's the theme, that's the mission--an extraordinary life," Brooke adds. "Living in a way where you can never be labeled, like Jesus. Starting revival by being the light, being different, showing who Jesus is through us."
Having started a band together when they were just tweens, Brooke and Lauren have watched God take something that began as a sibling side project and turned it into a poignant ministry. They've released several independent recordings together, toured across the U.S., done modeling and film gigs, and have shared the stage with some of Christian music's biggest names. They've also been able to minister in Canada, something that's particularly meaningful as tribal members of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation in Muncey, Ontario.
It's been a solid run so far. But with the release of their first major, nationally distributed album, Tired Of Basic (The Fuel Music), LOVECOLLIDE is formally making their introduction to the larger music world and is poised to vastly expand their sphere of influence.
With their 10 new tracks, the sisters have crafted a soundtrack for the revolution--a revolution against boredom, mediocrity and status quo living. It's a message that isn't just for the band's audience; it's for the band, too.
Sonically, Tired Of Basic finds LOVECOLLIDE at their musical peak, experimenting with new, cutting edge sounds that stand up to the best Top 40 radio has to offer. Armed with the prowess of new producers Riley Friesen (Family Force 5, Group 1 Crew) and Matt Dally (Superchick, Jamie Grace), LOVECOLLIDE has found its perfect match to achieve the sound they want to accompany their lyrics.
"We've always wanted to be current," says Lauren. "It's always been a journey for us, and always will be. I think our biggest goal with this new music and this new album was to create something that truly sounded like what we listen to on a daily basis, and what gets us going, and that's dancy pop."
Lyrically, the themes of Tired Of Basic pull from some seismic ups and downs of the past two years.
Lauren, for one, dealt with the devastation of having to break off an engagement.
"I thought I was supposed to settle for that mediocre love, that my dreams for marrying my best friend and the love of my life were for someone else," she says. "I'd just given up in a sense, but God radically changed my life when I broke off that relationship. Then God gave me Adam."
That's Adam Budnick, LOVECOLLIDE's drummer, whom Lauren married January 6, 2018. The couple's engagement and wedding story, along with photos, can be seen at The Knot.
Meanwhile, as hatred, racism and division have been at the forefront of public consciousness, the negativity took a very personal toll on Brooke, sending her into a suffocating depression.
"I lost myself for a long time," she recalls. "I lost my connection with the world because I couldn't handle all the negativity. I spent a lot of time in bed, detached."
Tired, out of options and feeling the pit of despair getting deeper, Brooke decided to fast for the first time in her life. In that process, God began to speak.
"He said to me, 'I can't begin a new thing in your life when you still have old things,'" Brooke remembers. "'I can't fill you up when you're still full with what was left over.' That kind of turned things around."
New music emerged. New partners surfaced. A new sound rose up. And the name LOVECOLLIDE took on a whole new dimension.
"We want to unite, love people, love each other, giving without expectation," Brooke adds. "With how we live our life, with our music, with everything--we want to slap people in the face with love!"
And LOVECOLLIDE primarily seeks to do that through their songwriting, which has grown and deepened on Tired Of Basic.
Powerhouse album opener "Awake" uses earworm hooks to address the concept that many people are alive in Christ, but are, as the sisters say, essentially sleepwalking through life. Fun crowd-pleaser "I Believe In Loud" is a declaration of boldly declaring the hope of Jesus to a hopeless world.
One song, "Breaking My Heart," is a love song written about humanity from God's perspective. Lauren and Brooke were able to draw emotions and language from their broken past relationships to bring language to the longing expressed in this downtempo pop jam.
On the emotional first radio single, "I Don't Want It," LOVECOLLIDE shares about the things they learned as they questioned the band's future.
"We were debating, kind of at the point of do or don't with LOVECOLLIDE," Brooke says. "We were calling out to God, saying, 'I don't want this if it's without you.' That song is about holding our dreams up to God."
And the ethereal and introspective "Maybe" is perhaps the most vulnerable track on the new record as it presents a raw, yet hopeful cry out to God about difficult times.
"It's basically asking God if He's gone away," says Lauren. "It's this questioning, telling God, 'Maybe you didn't leave, maybe You won't go away, maybe You are on the other side of this. Maybe You won't let go."
Armed with a perspective and a confidence that comes from their all-in, risky faith and the stories it produced, LOVECOLLIDE is poised to make more of an impact than ever.
"We want our music to be an experience, not just something to listen to," says Lauren. "We want the vibe, the style, the feels we give people and the love they receive to be something they remember, something that changes them."
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