After a 10-year recording hiatus, Avalon is back! Called, the vocal group’s debut recording on Red Street Records and first release in 10 years, will be released this week. The exquisite harmonies of Avalon – Greg & Janna Long, Jody McBrayer, and Dani Rocca – soar over lyrics full of faith and encouragement, complemented by exemplary musicianship and skilled production. Avalon started introducing listeners to some of the new songs last year, when they kicked off The Called Tour, with special guest Reagan Strange. Recently, the band shared with us a little behind the making of this release and their prayers for the reach of this album’s message.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of Called! Can you share the inspiration behind putting this collection together?
Thank you. Putting these songs together was really about each individual song. We required three of the four members to vote yes on a song in order for it to be chosen and of course the label/producers ( Jay DeMarcus and Don Koch ) had input as well.
When did you first have the idea for this project? How long was the record in the making?
This record holds the record for taking the longest to complete. Some of it, of course, had to do with the members residencies being in three different states. From start to finish, it was around two years.
Can you share a little more about the meaning behind the album’s title and how it is a reflection of the whole project?
The title of the project is ‘Called’. Sometimes when we hear the word called we think of going on the mission field to some foreign land, but truly we are all called to not only share the love of Christ by telling people of it but living out his love to everyone around us. So the bottom line is, if you are a Christian… You are called.
You’ve already shared a few of the tracks from Called, like the title track, “Keeper of My Heart”, and a few others. What has the reaction been so far for these?
“Keeper Of My Heart“ was the first song released and we were grateful for our listeners’ response for sure. It seemed to ring through that wow the sound is fresh and current, the DNA of Avalon seemed to ring true in the song. One of our favorite songs that were released early is “If Not For Jesus” and the response was pretty overwhelming. It seems people feel the same as we do in that we would all be lost and undone without our Lord.
What one message do you hope listeners take away from listening to this music?
Probably the line in “Keeper Of My Heart” that says “you traded heaven just to hold me“ sums it up pretty well. This speaks of a love that literally lay down his life for us and there is no greater love than that.
Called is your first album release in a decade. How was creating this record similar to your previous releases?
The similarities in making ‘Called’ would probably be having a whole lot of fun while at the same time working really hard on the vocals. We take a lot of pride in the harmonies being as tight as we can make them and finding the right voice to seeing the right melodies is a priority as well.
Success can be defined in many ways. How do you define success for Called?
Defining success for ‘Called’ is like everything else in a believer’s life… Obedience. We truly felt that we were “supposed” to make this record and give it everything we had and that is an honor that we take very seriously.
What are you most looking forward to in 2020 aside from the release of Called?
Probably taking the music from ‘Called’ on the road and being able to communicate it in front of our listeners who show up at the concerts. While we can’t tour like we used to because of familial and church obligations, we will still go out as much as we can and are excited to do so. Our schedule is always up at AvalonTheGroup.com.
You can listen to the track below and as well download your own mp3 file below, also share with us using the comment box below about what you think about this album.