Art is always a response to something that is felt inside. For The Advice, that response comes in the form of bluesy, soulful, pop music from hearts that have been gripped by their Christian faith. Brothers Matt and Jared Houston formed the band with good friend and bassist, Jeff Madden, while still in High School. Like many bands just starting out, The Advice spent their weekends practicing in their parents’ basement for gigs at coffeehouses and local churches around their hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. In the beginning stages the band focused on honing their sound and their line-up, says guitarist, Jared Houston “All of those different musicians we had in the early years of the band really helped shape our sound today.”
By 2007 the band had settled into their sound, and their final line-up. With Jeff Madden on bass, Aaron Bowen on keys, Sanchez Fair on drums, and guitars by the Houston brothers, with Matt providing lead vocals. These five provided the structure where their upbeat, catchy songs could flourish.
The band in its final form reflects a racial as well as musical diversity that has become a defining characteristic of the group. What makes the diversity work in the case of The Advice is the fact that it was not intentional but happened naturally. And those characteristics drew the attention of Inpop Records in the summer of 2010.
The songs on their self-titled label debut (available 3.26.13) encapsulate the last four years of growth the band has experienced both personally and spiritually. The weight of God’s love and mercy in spite of our sin is the thread woven throughout the eleven songs. “You Give Me,” the lead single, is a reminder of the satisfaction and freedom only found in Christ: “You give me, what I need/break all of these chains off me/So take this brokenness, set me free/From all that is me.” Other songs showcasing the band’s tight harmonies and incredible musicianship include “Love Me Like That,” “Holding On To You,” and “Your Love Sets Me Free.”
The Advice has bigger hopes for their record than just getting to play music,
‘We’re proud to be Christian artists, but our hope is that our style and sound draws people to the message in our songs that wouldn’t necessarily pick up a Christian album,’ says Jared.
Music may be the universal language, but it is only in a relationship with God that people are truly united with one another. Bowen summarizes, “As a band, we want to set an example of what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. We truly believe that God’s love is color blind, and we want that to be evident in every area of our ministry.”