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Adult Contemporary

Jeff Anderson

Gotee Records With the release of his Gotee debut Seamless, Jeff Anderson showcases songs of praise-tinged songwriting doused with an inventive direction, bringing a sort of unity to the “singer/songwriter” and “worship leader” labels. “When I was sixteen, I started going to Christian concerts with my youth group and that’s where the spirit of God first touched me with where my heart would be heading,” Anderson says, specifically referencing a show when Steven Curtis Chapman performed the poignant “Remember Your Chains. “All of a sudden I had a real burden for the church and I felt the need to lead people into the presence of the Lord, regardless of the denomination.”

During his teenage years, Anderson began to observe a division among many of the people with in Church and among the Christian community as a whole. The results of such observations instilled a strong cry of unity within his heart. While studying Vocal Performance at Capitol University Jeff began to attend the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Columbus, Ohio. “Going to the Vineyard got me plugged into all sort of circles and I soon found myself leading worship at a service called ‘Joshua House’ for young adults in the Vineyard movement,” he explains. “I saw a lot of fruit come out of that, starting with the breaking down of any stereotypes between believers of different backgrounds and moving into just a huge freedom to worship the Lord. Soon I wrote my own music, played the songs at church, saw them latch on pretty well and decided to make a record.”

That original recording experience translated into a seven-song EP that Anderson showcased throughout the music industry in hopes of securing a record deal. Though he had no trouble relating to a congregation at an individual parish, he found it awkward at first to connect with an industry crowd. “I really felt called to music ministry and had already been following that in church, but somehow I just couldn’t relate that from the stage when I got in front of big label execs,” he admits. “It was so strange to experience that and it shook me up a bit wondering if this was really the path I was supposed to follow. It wasn’t until I finally laid my songs and my guitar front of the Lord and completely surrendered to Him that things started to happen.”

From that very moment the doors swung wide open confirming to Anderson this was indeed to be his life’s direction. Long-time friend and Gotee label-mate John Reuben not only assisted Anderson in crafting fresh material, but began hounding label head Toby McKeehan to give the songs some time. “We had been great friends for a long time that would always swap music, but there came a point where John really invested in what I was trying to do,” Anderson explains. “He literally started calling Toby every single day and once he was on board, word started spreading and the whole label got excited.”

After signing with Gotee Records, plans were soon made to release an EP and to get Anderson out on the road but, after hearing the compelling compositions being brought to the table, the EP concept soon grew into a full-length release. “I kind of went from being considered this developing experiment that they were going to test the waters with to someone on their roster they really wanted to push.”

Much of the excitement from the label stems from the cut “Open My Eyes”, sure to stand out as one of this generation’s anthems. The track blends yearning vocals with progressive pop, rock and a roundhouse rhythm section akin to the creative likes of Coldplay or Keane. Such a passionate, rock flavoring peppers the remainder of the record, which features nine other vertically focused cuts produced by John Reuben, engineered by C.R. Pendleton (John Reuben, Spoken) and mixed by Shane Wilson (Michael W. Smith, delirious?).

“The music doesn’t so much have the standard worship sound, but more what you’d hear on general market radio,” Anderson observes. “That being said, it’s still a series of prayers from the heart and I feel like that breeds an opportunity to reach across to a wider audience.” Such a desire builds off from that original teenage ambition of breaking down walls and bridging together the body, which he’s able to do with the universal messages of adoration on songs like “All I Need,” and “As I Am.” “I Will Follow” adapts an appeal of unabashed surrender, “All We Have Is Now” calls for living an abundance filled existence even amidst one’s trials, while “So Alive” bursts with a motif of thanksgiving.

“The one thing I can really say about this album is that there’s a lot of diversity in topics and dynamics,” he enthuses. “I always view people’s emotions as a roller coaster, so there are a lot of ups and downs with the music that bring you to all different spiritual places.” A case in point comes in the mellow beginnings of “Your Love Never Fails Me,” which swells into a climatic, European pop influenced eruption. There’s also the melodic introspection of “I Don’t Belong Here,” which was actually crafted in heavenly hopefulness after Anderson’s wife experienced a miscarriage. Equally urgent is the vibrant assault of “Paralyzed,” which speaks of coming before the Lord with reverence and awe.

“There is a lot of integrity going into this project and I feel like it’s turned out really solid in a way that can relate to a wide spectrum of people. After all, that was the original stirring in my heart, and after having stuck with it so long, I trust the Lord will use it in whatever way He sees fit.”


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