When husband and wife team Ammee Pearl and Jay Huzil formed the band SWEETEVERAFTER nine years ago, their sound was distinctively hard rock, earning them a nomination for Metal Song of the Year at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. But in their third release, the new EP entitled 'Adoration Project', the music shifts to softer tones while their lyrics take recent tragic events head on.
"I wrote this song after the Boston bombing," says Pearl. "Since that time so many other senseless acts of violence have happened - including the school shooting that just happened in Florida - that sometimes now I feel like we ac cept it. It has become our new normal. We have become numb to the horror and sadness of it all. So, I found myself sitting at my piano in the studio and I began to write, asking God why, and crying out to Him in deep sorrow and reflection. I believe that in the depth of our souls exists the capacity for great good and great evil. To see this choice played out on the world’s stage causes us to turn inward and examine ourselves. The song ‘Desperate for Love’ is the cry of my heart and a reflection on the brokenness of the world. It is a prayer that the God of the Universe would come and breathe new life into all these broken places."
Another tune on the EP entitled 'American Prayer' also pulls no punches with lyrics such as: "Words penned long ago, fade and gather dust of iniquity and pride, thievery and lust America where is your beauty, your thirst for what was just...oh in God we trust, but in our sin we’ve drowned..."
"This song was inspired by a poem that a friend of mine wrote concerning 2 Chronicles 7:14. Sometimes it can be difficult to put into words or to really look past culture and society and see that w e all have a responsibility to seek the Lord right now, for the big things and the small things. I called the song ‘American Prayer’ because, for me, it puts into words my cry - which I hope will be a corporate cry - for us to humble our hearts, seek forgiveness, and ask the Lord for healing for ourselves as individuals and our nation."
Pearl serves as a worship leader for a church in the San Diego area and says it is sometimes a balancing act to choose the correct songs for praise and worship.
"I think that when we are careful to balance theology with worship music, then we are serving our church families well. I think when we idolize, or place anyone (pastors, music leaders, elders) on a pedestal, we miss the boat. When it come to praise and worship music it's not about hit songs, it is about pointing people toward God and showing them Jesus. I heard a great quote once in respect to worship - it's all about revelation and response. Our responsibility as worship leaders is to reveal the character of Christ and our Heavenly Father, and worship is our response to that. Whether that comes out in the form of a song, in our giving, or in our serving - if it comes from the heart, that's what the Lord seeks."
Pearl describes "Adoration Project” as “part Americana, part singer/songwriter, borderline country, with a bit of world beat,” but ultimately, the songs are a reflection of Pearl’s own faith journey.
"I hope that these songs resonate in people's hearts, and that they shine a light on our faith and purpose here in this world. Many of these songs were written from very personal places in my life, and my faith in God and who He is really helped me to reconcile a lot of things. It is my desire that these songs help people to see Him more clearly in their own lives."