Back in early January 2016, the four of us Heritage Hill gals gathered in Grace’s living room to put together a work-back plan to record an album. I don’t think we had any idea that morning what God had in store for us over the course of the next year. Even then, as we planned practice times and made a list of songs to arrange, He knew that we’d become sister-friends, that Nat would have another baby, that Grace and Tiff would pass their seminary courses, that my beloved Gramma Miller would pass away, and that we’d be able to talk, laugh, pray and sing through it all together. Out of the Sea has been a labour of love, sweat, tears, and laughter. It exists today by the grace of the God and with the help of an army of friends from Westside.
And so I wanted to write a few shout-outs, if that’s ok. No one who worked on this project was in it for the praise and glory, but my heart is full of thankfulness and love today as we finally send it off into the world. I want to say thank you to all these friends who gave their talents and time to these songs:
Brandon Dorsey. Producer extraordinaire! You put in more hours on this EP than anyone. Thank you for the late nights, the encouraging words from the talkback mic and always making us feel like we had one more good take in us! You contributed so much to these songs through your technical sound engineering prowess, your attention to detail, and most of all your heart for Jesus and making him known through music. Thanks for always challenging us to make thoughtful musical and lyrical decisions, and caring enough to get everything just right.
Marc Willerton. Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader, for literally learning how to play slide guitar just for this recording, and for all your thoughtful suggestions and leadership throughout this process. You are an amazingly talented musician and songwriter, but more than that, you have been a true friend and brother to all of us. I appreciate your humble leadership, your heart for Jesus and I’m thankful to you, Chars and the boys for adopting me into your family (#sarahmillerton).
Adam Cormier. The drums and percussion parts you wrote brought these songs to life. Thank you for your enthusiasm, creativity and encouragement! And thank you for just going with it when we asked you to play a cardboard box as a snare drum.
Cole Friesen. Thanks for the totally sick, yet tasteful guitar solos—it’s a fine line between ‘Death is Dead’ and ‘Death is Shred’ and you walked it masterfully.
Thom Peters. Thanks for being “Banjo Thom” once again and lending a bit of hillbilly to these songs.
Ryan Schroeder, Clint Baergen and Josh Knepper. Thank you for spending hours outside in the freezing cold (in your inadequate west coast winter coats, no less) to take a bunch of photos of a girl band. The photos and video you took are beautiful! We appreciate your friendship and talent.
Tami Knepper & Heather McCloy. Thanks for styling us and making us look cool for the photos! To be honest, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of being in a photo shoot but you made it fun and helped us all to feel confident and beautiful.
Chris Pulsifer. Thank you for lending your songwriting talents, for being a thoughtful editor and for taking one million hours (approx) to splice together coherent sound bites out of our rambling about music. You’re always willing to jump in and help out wherever it’s needed, and we love that about you.
Joseph Peterson & Laura Colley. Thanks for clapping your hands and stomping your feet along with us.
Ben Gadd. Thank you for helping us set up for practice so many times and for recording our podcast!
And finally to my fellow Heritage Hillers: Grace, Nat and Tiff. You are all beautiful, godly women and I’m blessed to call you my friends. If all we’d got out of this process had been friendship it would have been enough, but God gave us so much more! How marvellous, how wonderful and our song shall ever be.
And lastly, thanks to you for listening. I hope that you enjoy these songs! But more than that I hope that they encourage you, as you sing the truth of the gospel along to them—that God is holy and righteous, that death is dead because we’re set free by grace through faith in Christ alone, that we’ve been adopted by a King, and that we can keep singing, because our Saviour came.