Saturday, February 6, 2016

#64 U.R.Y. - Kate Spence



There are SO many reasons that I absolutely love this week's entry, song #65 U.R.Y by Kate Spence. First and foremost is the fact that most of my hundreds(1) of subscribers have never heard of the song and don't have any idea who Kate Spence is. I have this thing that a lot of people have where I just enjoy introducing my friends to new music. It's just kind of a rush. So, I implore you, faithful reader, don't just skip over this one because you've never heard of it - I promise you won't be disappointed.

(1) I recently passed 200 subscribers, so now I can legally say I have 'hundreds' of subscribers. As opposed to before, when I claimed to have 'thousands' of subscribers when I actually had 11.

Ok, it is actually possible that some of you are familiar with the song, or Kate Spence, but I find that unlikely. I personally own two Kate Spence CDs, and a quick internet search shows me that they are both near impossible to find. Somehow, back in the early 2000s, despite never hearing any of the songs, I myself managed to find and buy these CDs, thanks to a now-defunct site called goldusa.com.

Back in the early 2000s, goldusa was the place to go to find new and hard to find worship music. This of course, was before the explosion of youtube and iTunes. I'd go on the site and read the reviews and buy a bunch of CDs from worship artists I'd never heard of. And you young folks out there won't believe this, but sometimes I had to wait WEEKS to get my CDs.

Nope, that's not Darlene and Hillsong. It's Kate Spence.
The thing that drew me to Kate Spence and Coff's Harbour(2) was the similarities to Hillsong. Like Hillsong, the were from Australia. Also, musically they were very similar, and Kate Spence herself is sort of like a poor man's Darlene Zschech, in both her sound and appearance. On the Hillsong Youth Alive album The Plan, they actually do a version of U.R.Y., albeit with slightly different lyrics.

(2) Kate Spence and the Coff's Harbour Life Centre is the official title. I'd use it here, but I don't like the weird European-style spelling. Plus, there's not enough room for all that on the title bar. 

And to further the Kate Spence/Hillsong connection, you can find a few songs in the massive Hillsong catalog that were actually written by Kate Spence. Including a beautiful Kate Spence song called Deeply In Love, that was redone very faithfully by Hillsong. Such a wonderful song, I might as well include it as a free bonus song for you:



I've mentioned before how in the early 2000s I was around a church and a bunch of people who were always searching for the latest, coolest worship music. Another thing I love about Kate Spence is that even with all the worship music hoarders I was around, I was the only one to own these CDs.

There's just something cool about being the guy who discovers the new music. It's neat to do a song during the worship time and have everyone come up to you and ask you "Hey, who's that singing? - I really like it". It makes you think you're important. Unfortunately, sometimes you end up tying your own self-worth to stupid, silly things like. Thankfully, I no longer have to seek approval from others to justify my own self-worth. My cats do that for me now.

I know I'm special because these guys love me.
Ok, let's (finally) get to this week's song, U.R.Y. Oddly, this song's clever title pre-dated the cell phone texting thingy. And in case any of my older readers haven't gotten it yet, the title actually says 'You Are Why'. It's a song to God telling Him that He is why we sing, why we live, etc. Actually, that's pretty much all the lyrics.

U.R.Y. is a very simple song - it's essentially just one verse and the chorus. But the song more than makes up for this simplicity by being breathtakingly beautiful. From the light piano intro to the soaring highs and the lightest touches around the edges, everything about this song makes it absolutely perfect for a worship music setting.

But it's Kate Spence's vocals that really puts this one over the top. She's subtle and restrained when it's called for; and with the help of the choir she's full on singing when the music swells. And the whole vocal experience is very Darlene Zschech-ian, right down to doing that thing that Darlene does where the whole church is singing one thing and she's singing another.

Anyway, this is just a GREAT song that would probably be much, much higher if not for the fact that no one knows who Kate Spence is. If you haven't heard it, please give it a listen. I can promise you won't be disappointed.



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