Hyland's sophomore Tooth & Nail release, Finding Our Way, plays like something I've loved for years - a comforting mix of early T&N bands with a fresh, new take on indie/pop/rock that's rich with variety.
The opening song, "Power & Love," sounds like Mute Math melded with the faith-based pop-rock feel of Anberlin. It's direct and passionate, with an up-beat poppy vibe that still feels important. In recent years the genre has become predictable, though Hyland has managed to take the familiar and make it new again. More than anything, the Minneapolis four-piece figured out the secret. Write personal. "Well Done" is a slow, personal plea about someone seeking the approval of their father, not just a boy chasing a girl. That story has been told.
"Beauty in the Broken" begins with a quick bass pedal over piano before exploding into the chorus, "I see beauty in the broken." It's quite reminiscent of OneRepublic, though the entire record seems littered with influences, from Switchfoot and Relient K to Anberlin and Kutless. Finding Our Way is the type of record that defines a band, which is especially important in a genre that has already seen so many leaders. It's personal and experimental while retaining a playful, dance-like vibe -- and easily one of the strongest releases from T&N in years.