In a cabin on a lake in Pennsylvania, founding members of Sidewalk Prophets, Ben McDonald and David Frey, wrote most of what would become their third full studio album, Something Different.
A band known for spending more days on the road than anywhere else, the quiet seclusion of the cabin helped Ben and Dave create what might be their most honest and musically diverse album yet. Set to release from Fervent Records on August 28, Something Different was created during a unique and challenging time for the band.
For Dave, writing at the lake was symbolic: “All these things were happening in our lives at that time but here we sat, on the peaceful serenity of this lake. It was a different way to approach writing. Instead of a clock in and clock out approach to writing, we were in the moment, in this environment for days on end asking God to fill the quiet but remove the distractions and burdens, and allow Him to speak through us. I think the whole experience facilitated, in turn, a different way to show our hearts to the world.”
That’s what this much-anticipated Sidewalk Prophets project was built on: candor and honesty about where the band is, has been, and is going. It truly is something different for their fans and for the genre.
Their prior albums Live Like That (2012) and These Simple Truths (2009) saw great success with singles like “Live Like That” and “You Love Me Anyway” topping Christian charts. But this time around, Sidewalk Prophets did not hold back, not emotionally, not musically.
For Something Different, the band, which in addition to Ben and Dave includes Cal Joslin (bass), Justin Nace (drums) and Daniel Macal (lead guitar), chose to work with seasoned producer Seth Mosley for the first time. It was a surprisingly perfect fit for Ben and Dave, who have been writing together since the freshman year of college where they met almost 14 years ago.
Co-written with Justin Ebach “Something Different” is upbeat and pop leaning with an electric guitar and a chance for Dave’s vocal ability to really shine. The phrase something different refers to that commons thread Christians share, the thing that sets them apart. As the bridge explains, It’s a love like you’ve never known / It’s a feeling like being home / It’s always knowing that you’re never alone / It’s Jesus Christ and He’s in my soul.
The something different heard throughout this Sidewalk Prophets album is what gives this record a certain excitement about it, a buzz that’s been building and foreshadowing what will certainly be a collection of hits and fan favorites, continuing to elevate this band to new heights.
Sidewalk Prophets has big plans for Something Different. The first single, “Prodigal”, set in motion a brand new season for the band. With over three years separating this release from their previous, this new music of captivating instrumentation and gripping lyric, will help to propel them as they use their voices, creativity, and most of their days in a year to walk out their calling.
This is the most proud I’ve ever been to make music,” Ben says. “We’ve poured everything we have into this project. I feel like I was put on earth to make this record.”
There is something different about that type of assurance when a band finishes an album. A trust that you’ve written and produced exactly what you were supposed to exactly when you were supposed to. Written from a place of uncertainty, yet in a sanctuary of peace, the honest, Gospel-focused nature of each song on Something Different provides a type of sanctuary itself for listeners, who may also find themselves in the middle of an uncertain time. These are songs they can cling to in the midst of those troubles, but also can sing in the moments of joy and celebration. Songs that will bring assurance in the chaos and peace in the storm, encouragement to keep going, and remind them that the something different inside of them is still there, is constant, and that it’s the thing that makes us Something Different.