Joe Kisselburgh always dreamed of having the opportunity to author a project which encompassed the full spectrum of his artistry. In 2006 he left his previous outfit, Falling Up, and began to pursue his ultimate musical end; which was becoming a songwriter, lyricist, frontman, and musical conduit.
This pursuit is called The Send.
"It was so challenging and inspiring to start anew. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing something from its inception grow, expand, and evolve into a dream fulfilled. I feel like this project is me. It's so close to my heart. It's my songs. Being able to share who I am, and especially my relationship with God, is so important to me."
And so the journey began for Kisselburgh, armed only with an idea. The name, the Send, is a reference to the progression of the thought from his mind and soul to his music and finally to the listener. But even though the band was essentially brand new, the songs themselves had been a long time in coming. While on the road with his former outfit (and even well before), he stole away to write every chance he got. After several years of work he finally had the material he needed to craft his debut release, Cosmos.
"I want to have musicality and tastefulness, but if there isn't a good song beneath that it might come across as dated one day. I love acoustic guitar. I love great songs, and that is the hardest thing in music to do. It's easy to be crazy and arty and write something no one will understand. It's much harder to write great songs that will always be great songs... and that's my goal."
It is in this spirit that Cosmos has been conceived. And "conceived" is precisely the correct verb to describe Kisselburgh's approach. Admittedly, he teamed up with famed producer Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Jeremy Camp) to "bring spiritual songs into existence from beyond," rather than force a pop record. It shows. Consider the lead single An Epiphany. This track is a musical progression of tasteful instrumentation and ambiance that lifts into a vibrant chorus that will seep into your subconscious. Such is the feel of the album as a whole; it is uplifting, bright, vulnerable, and genuine in emotion as well as sonics. With influence ranging from The Police to Death Cab For Cutie to Coldplay, The Send does not lack in pop sensibility. It is difficult for most to balance all these elements, but this is both delicate and balanced nonetheless.
Honesty is the chief virtue in the lyricism of Cosmos. A concurrent theme throughout is an acknowledgment of human weakness. Joe boldly reflects on his own shortcomings with courage, candor, and clever articulation. The result is nothing short of inspiration. On "Santiam" Kisselburgh reflects on God's glory:
Any script written could not contain you.
True love is not like it's played in a movie.
When I close my eyes, I feel you with me
Because you bled for a love that is Holy.
On Blocking the Sun, Joe paints a vivid picture of God's acceptance: So you know everything about me, and still you love me as I am? And finally, on Drown, he pulls no punches in proclaiming his need for divine intervention: You remind me how I begin to drown. You're the only thing that can save me now. If you are looking for a shiny portrayal of perfect spiritual existence, look elsewhere. These are songs for real people to cry out to God with in the midst of trial and mistakes. These are songs to lead you to life from death.
After Cosmos hits store shelves, Joe Kisselburgh will most likely be found doing what he knows and loves, making all-night drives with his band to push on to the next city, to share his soul with audiences across the land. Having honed his touring skills with Falling Up, he knows what lies ahead of him and welcomes the experiences that are on the horizon. Even though he is only 20, he is decidedly mature in his approach to the road; he will do whatever is necessary to get his music out to as many as possible. He plans on performing at least 200 times in the next twelve months, and has already completed national tours with Ruth and The Myriad recently. Look for The Send on tour in the summer of 2007 with industry powerhouses Hawk Nelson.
"I asked myself recently, 'Why am I doing all this?' I realized that In life there are moments where you have a choice to face God and be convicted about how you live or to ignore this fact. Although I fight Him sometimes, I ultimately want my will to bend towards His. Portraying the tension between who I want to be and who I need to be and what I want to do is really important to me. Finding the sincerity in this process is the growth, the reward, and hopefully the encouraging point between myself and the listener. I am so thankful to be able to be in this position; a position to write, sing, and play this music in way that hopefully is like no other."