Last week Anthem Lights announced that Spencer Kane has replaced Alan Powell since Alan explained that he needed more time to spend with his family and not be on the road so much. Maybe you have heard of him before! He has been a solo artist leading up to this point and can be found in the pop and Christian genres.
Anthem Lights has gone through many changes where Joey Stamper replaced Kyle Kupecky, who was a part of their first EP which released in 2011. Since then they have been slowly but surely making original music but also getting most of their fame from YouTube covers. This has led to some controversy because people felt like they were getting too far away from the Christian genre.
A great example of this was posted in the comments of their newest Justin Bieber cover medley. Erin Barr said, “ I’m not currently a Christian. But your songs (ex: the lighthouse) were so beautiful- I don’t care. What I’m trying to get to- stop wasting your time with covers. I don’t think you necessarily need to go back to “worship” music. But your original songs were so beautiful. Idk if you lost your song writer or what. But those lyrics and the music that went with them were beautiful and inspiring. Now you’re just a bunch of cute faces trying to be cool by mashing up other people’s songs. But I had so much more respect for you guys, as musical artists, when you did your own stuff. That’s the Anthem Lights myself, and others fell in love with.”
Anthem Lights responded to this and said, “Most bands take 2-3 years to release an original project. We have spoiled a lot of fans by putting as as much music as we do. But in reality, original projects take years to create and release. We just put one out a year ago.. But in the meantime. Why not keep making music? Thanks for listening.”
It’s definitely interesting to see them respond to a comment like that since it is very common topic among fans in the comments of their social media posts. Obviously making cover songs is “easier” than releasing new original music and it is likely taking time away from their original music, but they have created a bigger fan-base and received more media attention by releasing cover albums. For example, they were included in a survey done by Ryan Seacrest for the best YouTube covers.
As for my opinion on the issue, I like Spencer. He fits the band well and he sounded great on the Justin Bieber medley. For cover songs, I really don’t mind that they release more cover videos than original music. It is crossing the Christian/mainstream secular line, but really, does that line matter? Musicians who aren’t huge Billboard top 40 artists struggle to make significant money, so if doing covers (which are super quality and better than most on YouTube) makes them the money they need to keep making music, let them. I like their covers more than original music sometimes. You should give them a listen and let us know what you think!