Back on November 25, 2016, Needtobreathe released a two song 7″ Single to celebrate the band’s chance to record for Paste Magazine at their Paste Studio. And this is the only way you can own these songs is on the vinyl option. Otherwise you have to stream them. The band recorded the songs the previous Summer in Midtown Manhattan and the band set up to record the songs acoustically which we already know the band does so well. The band was promoting their current album at the time, “Hard Love” which is one of their best albums.
I was finally able to get my hands on a copy and not pay too much. The band has only released 4 vinyl 7″ singles and now I have 3 of them and this is the first one I was able to get. The packaging is stunning and even comes with a double sided insert with one side being the track listing and all the credits and the other side artwork that continues the theme of the packaging for the single and the album. The single itself comes in a solid black sleeve to match the color the vinyl as well.
The first track is for the song “Hard Love” which is the title track to the album. The original is a pop song and quite radio friendly. This version is stripped down to its essence with piano by Josh Lovelace and acoustic guitar by Bear and Bo Rinehart. Percussion wise you have a tambourine and snaps by Set Bolt and a Cajon by Randall Harris. If you don’t know, a cajon is a box-shaped percussion instrument from Peru that you play by hand, fingers or brush type instrument. It makes a cool sound. Background vocals are aided by Carman Roman and Clayton Bryant.
Bear sings with such heart and emotion. There is a little reverb on his vocals which gives it a more dramatic effect. The song’s meaning is that love is hard but it is worth it and this acoustic version really making it a haunting, yet beautiful song. Might be the best version of the song I’ve heard.
The next rack is “Happiness” which is a gospel tinged song with full on choir on the original version. This acoustic version replaces that choir with a booming piano and finger snapping. All the instruments you heard on the first track are used here as well. The church feel is gone, but the band still captures the meaning and essence of the song in this acoustic version. The whole band joins in on the chorus to add layers of sound. The original feels a little more upbeat than what you get here. This version seems to have a little sadness to it which is a contradiction of the verses which is a cool twist.
And there you have the first of the three singles I have. I will be showing off the other two over the next couple weeks so I hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.