With the ever-increasing trend of releasing multiple singles before an album release, many artists have chosen to side-step the creation of a musical arc that takes the listener on a complete journey from the first track to the last. Not so on Anticipation, the second EP released by Jesus Culture’s Katie and Bryan Torwalt. In much the same way that this project is a continuation of a faith journey, the EP itself is masterfully constructed, beginning with the inviting, compelling “Remember.” Lyrics like “Remember who you’re talking to,” are subtly grounding and centering. They encourage the listener to reacquaint themselves with God’s nature while gently guiding them towards a posture of humility and wonder.
Once there, the gates are flung open with the rhythmic, driving “Freedom is Coming,” the first words of which are delivered by a soulful, infectious gang vocal. The soaring lead melody, woven around the rich group vocal, makes this song a natural fit for praise teams or even choirs. Lyrically, it is a song of expectation—a dimensional declaration that God’s healing and restoration are within reach. the lyrics seamlessly dance back and forth, from the anticipation of things yet to come and the confidence that God had been there all along.
The title track, “Anticipation” makes an abstract concept tangible.
“I feel anticipation / Feels like when the wind blows through the trees / There’s a hope and I can taste it / Ready to explode inside our praise.”
In Jesus Culture style, It’s a sensory encounter with the Divine, awakening us to the very real ways God shows up in our lives. It’s a song of expectation and confidence driven by a rhythm of faith and a cadence of gratitude.
Next, on the gorgeously restrained confessional “Save Me,” Bryan and Katie convey the weariness we all experience as we contend with our weaknesses and our needs. The chorus expresses a personal prayer, “I just wanna be in the room / Where my heart says yes / Just to see you move / So I can breathe again.” This cry for help, though is drenched through and through with faith. The worship experience pauses with an instrumental selah song, an intentional listening for nothing other than the voice of God.
The EP concludes with the affirmative “Your Will, Your Way.” A bit more heavily produced than the other tracks, it is a fitting end to a project that is more of a journey than a collection of songs.
This entire project is a masterclass in pacing, flow, structure, and the tension of all three when they intersect with intention and purpose. As powerful a vocal combination as the Torwalts are, the effectiveness of these songs is not dependent on their particular sound. The composition, structure, and underlying message of each track would make them powerful additions to a corporate worship set. Just as easily, this project could translate to times of personal worship and prayer. Anticipation is a welcome addition to the modern hymn book and tailored for the churches that resonate with Bethel and Jesus Culture stylings and messaging.