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Love Shall Be Our Token by High Street Hymns is a gem of a gift for anyone that loves the joyful noise of the holiday season. The group that emerged from the music leadership at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, “spreads the Gospel in spirit and truth” with performances that include the classics “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “What Child is This?” along with a set of songs never, perhaps, heard by anyone from our generation – even though the music sheets have existed for years (and years and years and years!)
High Street Hymns (HSH) tucks four special finds within the ten track Christmas CD, including a hymn written by English poet Christina Rosetti in 1885. Music arranger and vocalist, Alex Mejias, says the song was nestled among 700 others in the pages of his church hymnal, “and churches sing maybe fifty (of those), so there are just reams of songs that have just been sitting there.”
Armed with the chance to provide “more lyrical depth than can be found in traditional church music,” he decided to arrange the music to strengthen the melodies of time-forgotten favorites.
“The music being 150 years old creates some barriers because where we are as a culture, musically, is really different,” Mejias says. “So, updating and writing new music in the context we’re in right now just makes it a hundred times more accessible to people.”
And in doing so, HSH adds Rosetti’s “Love Came Down at Christmas” and four more unknown hymns to your Christmas play list.
“We’re thrilled with how the songs came out. This was our first take at writing Christmas and Advent melodies,” says Mejias, who assures that HSH plans to continue “renewing hymns and writing songs that connect hearts and minds to the love of God.”
The musicians are currently on their first Christmas tour and will be close to home with a stop in Richmond on December 10.
Download sample songs from High Street Hymns’ Love Shall Be Our Token for FREE on NoiseTrade.com then purchase the full CD for only $9.99!
Love Shall Be Our Token is available on iTunes and can be purchased directly from High Street Hymns online.
Love Shall Be Our Token was produced by Justin Rosolino and recorded at James Gammon Productions in 2009. Brad Hill of Nashville gave mixing strength to the project that had “the contributions of too many musicians to name.”