Needtobreathe are something of an anomaly in the current pop-music landscape. Despite an absence of mainstream radio support, the Charleston, South Carolina, foursome has built a massive live following and released increasingly higher-charting albums. Their most recent LP, Hard Love, came out in mid-July and landed at Number Two on the Billboard 200 (behind Drake’s dominant Views), their strongest debut to date. Hard Love also represents a distinct shift in style, taking the band from the anthem-heavy Southern rock and folk of 2014’s Rivers in the Wasteland to decidedly more dance-influenced territory, as on the Shovels and Rope collaboration “Great Night,” which bears a trace of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” or the soulful funk groove of “Money and Fame.” “Some of our fans might think that some of the synth-y things, programmed drums, stuff like that, is like a pop thing,” says singer Bear Rinehart. “That’s not the way we view it. We saw it as like this new frontier that we had never touched.” Though frequently tagged as a Christian-rock band because of their initial successes in Christian radio markets, Needtobreathe resist that categorization because of the challenges it presents to non-evangelical listeners. While there’s a spiritual thread that… Read full this story
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