With two albums surveying themes of hope, redemption in Jesus, and supernatural healing to their name, it’s no surprise that The Vespers are a band of Christians. But are they a Christian band?
A closer look at the college-aged siblings’ output and business acumen suggests they’re aiming for the former.
“When we got together, we didn’t decide one way or the other. We did know that we didn’t want to be a solely Christian band, because we wanted a wider audience than that,” said Phoebe Cryar, 19, the youngest of the four Vespers. “We don’t feel tied down, like we have to write about God or religion. We write about whatever we want because it’s a way of expressing ourselves. That [Christ] is the biggest part of our lives — it makes it pretty hard not to write about it. When you’re in love with somebody, you want to write songs about them, you know?”
They share that stance with their two opening acts at Bridgeway Church tonight, the charming pop-folk singer Brianna Gaither and the mystic Zach Winters, both local artists who write rich narratives inspired by Scripture and their own personal relationships with the divine.
Whether they’re Christian, Christian Scientist or Followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Vespers’ faith has no immediate bearing on their talent as musicians, which is considerable. Cryar and her 21-year-old sister, Callie, met brothers Bruno and Taylor Jones (20 and 22, respectively) while jamming in the same Nashville music circles in 2008, and struck out as a band the next year.
Today, they’re roughly two months removed from the release of their Kickstarter-indebted second album, The Fourth Wall, which ranges stylistically from saccharine, bouncy gospel and folk to grit-toothed Southern rock and going-for-broke bluegrass. It’s like Mumford & Sons’ cousins joined forces with a couple of coffee-shop sweethearts.
But for all the Cryar sisters’ sweetness, Phoebe communicates a confident business savvy in defense of the foursome’s creative control.
“We know that there’s something really special about discovering a band that’s kind of under the radar,” she said. “We’re not in a hurry to sign [with a label] because we’ve got great people working with us, who do what a label would. We’re being patient. We know that with the right timing, the right person will come along.”