MicahPeacock2There’s an organic element that undergirds Shadow to Sunlight, the debut from rising singer-songwriter Micah Peacock, that truly hints at the heart beneath. Peacock’s songs are human songs, songs intrinsically intertwined with the here and now, with all of its joys and struggles, as well as with a belief and aspiration toward something and Someone higher. And it’s that juxtaposition between the two worlds, coupled with some powerful songwriting, that sets Peacock’s debut apart from the pack.

The album is a direct extension of Peacock’s life where he serves as worship leader for The Well at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas and he draws largely on those experiences for material and inspiration, finding hope in the power of his craft. He’s been at it for a while, recording three EPs over the past couple of years as well as earning the opportunity to tour alongside Canada’s Matt Brouwer but it’s with this release that the artist truly comes fully into his own.

Some of that success is to be attributed to Peacock’s producer, none other than the legendary and prolific Michael Omartian, who’s helped shape works by artists as diverse as Vince Gill, Rod Stewart, Amy Grant, and many, many more. Impressed by Peacock’s musicianship, but even more so by his songwriting skills, Omartian welcomed the opportunity to work with the young talent and his deft touch is felt throughout the release.

The overall sound that Peacock achieves here is one that slowly burns throughout. Few of these tracks find themselves bursting into overwrought pops of energy nor do they wallow in points of simple somberness. Rather, there’s a steady gait that presses through, allowing Peacock’s warm vocal delivery and his well-crafted lyric to shoulder the yeoman’s work, and, by and large, he’s up to the challenge.

The title track stands as what is perhaps the album’s strongest offering, Peacock’s voice genuine and honest supported by piano and a building drive while he sings of a desire to go deeper, to press further into this life with God. Speaking to the song theme, and that of the album in general, the artist offers, “When light hits an object, a shadow is cast. You can’t have one without the other. I want to have eyes to see all the glimpses of God and His Kingdom that are infused throughout our day-to-day lives. I think the Lord is ready to give us a new lens to look through. We have a choice to participate and dive in. That may not be comfortable, but I’ve found that it’s by far a more rich and dynamic way of living.”

“Not Over Now” takes that perspective and honestly deals with doubt and questioning, supported by another warm, accessible arrangement as “We Are Not Alone” draws on some touching piano and strings, Peacock’s vocals reminiscent of Fernando Ortega as he sings of honest living. “Mystery” takes that thought of honest living and challenges it, delivering a solidly thumping alt-country drive while the lyrics wrestle with our theological houses of cards, challenging us that there are oftentimes mysteries that we’re simply meant to experience rather than dissect.

“Voices” and “Dancing In the Rain” find Peacock showcasing some standard singer songwriter templates and with “On Your Side Tonight” he brings forward a radio-friendly mid-tempo rocker. “Rest In You” is appropriately quiet and subdued and is almost hymn-like in its lyricism and stands tall here while “Stop Your Striving” is an honest walk through faith, buoyed by mandolin fills and gentle strings that accent the message of grace found here.

Micah Peacock’s Shadow to Sunlight is an album that is much more than a set of strong songs. Rather, it provides a journey through music and word, inviting listeners to stop, sit awhile, and reflect as they listen. With inviting arrangements, strong vocals, and creative yet accessible lyricism, Peacock offers up an album well worth the listen.

Download Shadow to Sunlight on iTunes here.

This review was first published at Soul-Audio.com.