Internationally-renowned South African rock band Tree63 will independently release its seventh full-length album, Land, on Sept. 11 through The Fuel Music distribution. On hiatus since 2008, the band re-formed following the enthusiastic reception received at a series of reunion events last year in South Africa. Inspired again by fans that participated in a successful Kickstarter campaign for the album earlier this year, Tree63’s new 12-song recording reflects the natural evolution and progression of the original trio consisting of John Ellis (vocals and guitar), Darryl Swart (drums) and Daniel Ornellas (bass).
Revealing a mature, sonically powerful and lyrically complex album with Land, Ellis suggests that what listeners can expect is what the band has always delivered: “I hope they feel relieved that a band they once trusted can still be trusted, trusted with one vital thing that Tree63 always gave listeners: honesty. Every lyric, every sonic structure, every melody, every song is sheer heart-on-the-sleeve honesty.”
The anthemic first single released earlier this year to Kickstarter supporters and as a Youtube lyric video, “The Storm,” propels that honesty as the intense imagery in the song is of a man being swept overboard, treading water and crying out to God.
“I hope listeners can take away that sense of ‘thank God, I’m not alone, somebody else feels this lonely and forgotten and hopeful and bewildered and resolved to carry on the journey’,” says Ellis. “My own recent experience leads me to the realization that even though we believe we will reach our destination across the hazardous sea God asks us to cross, it won’t be an easy voyage, and often we arrive shipwrecked and battered. The guarantee, however, is that we at least arrive.”
Other stand out tracks featured on Land include “Hard To Believe,” a beautiful and brutally honest confession about dark days and silence that ultimately ends with hope. “Lyrically, it’s so honest and real,” Swart says. “It really encourages those of us who find the going tough at times.”
The songs “Ship” and “Standing On It” continue the theme in what begins to feel like a single story, stretched out over the length of the album, of a man struggling with doubt and fear, beaten down by the storms of life, and yet remarkably hopeful.
“When I typed up all the lyrics before the vocal sessions, I realized this theme of some kind of ‘hazardous sea voyage,’ a kind of Jonah-like deliverance tale, was emerging,” says Ellis about all the songs on Land. “I thought about Jonah and the various perils of promising to journey with God and the reticence that comes with facing some of the realities of that journey.”
Sharing the music and message of Land on tour, Tree63 will be playing the new hits and other fan favorites on the US tour that is slated to begin this October.
The Full Land track listing:
02) The Storm
03) A Whisper
04) Standing On It
05) If God
06) Hard To Believe
08) Every Reason
09) Stumbling Stone
10) Blood Flows
11) The Greatest Story Ever Told
12) Never Had A Winter
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE S.A LAND TOUR
Photography: Dean Cothill
RECENT PRESS COVERAGE:
Lead singer John Ellis opens up about his journey with the brand new Tree63 album Land'.
Excerpt: "The journey is hard and hazardous and we arrive exhausted and scarred. Jesus warned us it would cost us everything we had..."