Everlife is an all-female American pop/rock band based in Nashville, TN. The band was originally formed in 1997 in Indiana, PA, by sisters Amber Hezlep (nee Ross), Julia Ross and Sarah Ross, but their family relocated to Nashville in 2003. Everlife is a Christian pop/rock band and, on their (first) self-titled album (2004), they sang their praises out loud and proud. However, after signing with Disney‘s Buena Vista Records, Everlife toned down the worship for their (second) self-titled album (2007) opting, instead, for songs, mostly, about love and relationships, many written by other songwriters, allowing them to appeal to a wider (tween) audience. They contributed songs to a dozen or so Disney soundtracks and compilations, and toured with all the popular Disney artists (like the Cheetah Girls, Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, etc) at the time, before deciding to continue on their own. Everlife is best compared to Christian pop/rockers like BarlowGirl or Addison Road, or secular pop/rockers such as The Veronicas or Disney‘s own KSM.
I was first exposed to this band back on January 14, 2007, when I, reluctantly, accompanied my 4-year old daughter, Gaby, to a performance of High School Musical: The Concert at the Wolstein Center here in Cleveland. Everlife‘s upcoming self-titled CD was being promoted on a flyer that was handed to me, and I was instantly drawn to the album artwork featuring the sisters rockin’ out in torn faded blue jeans and Converse (see below). Sure, they were just teenagers, at the time, but the image was still pretty cool. So, I pre-ordered the CD in hopes that my daughter would like them (since their most popular song “Find Yourself In You” was also on the first Hannah Montana soundtrack). She didn’t. But, I did.
Everlife‘s self-titled 2007 CD is, surprisingly, a whole lot better than you think it would be. Despite their Disney connection, Everlife rocked harder, with more maturity, than any of their tween peers. Youngest sister Julia’s voice is a big part of this band’s charm. She sounds a little like Juliet Simms with just a bit of a country twang. But, all the songs are good, too! “Find Yourself In You” was also featured on the soundtrack to Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007). Gaby loved that movie but sill hasn’t embraced this band. “Faded” is a cover of a song originally by Australian Idol winner Kate DeAraugo. Both versions are good. The song was co-written by The Veronicas (twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso). Everlife also covers The Veronicas‘ “I Could Get Used To This” (from their 2005 album The Secret Life Of…). Both are good, too, but I prefer Everlife‘s version. They also cover The Romantics‘ “What I Like About You” and Johnny O’Keefe‘s “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” (which has been covered by many artists including Iggy Pop and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts). “Static” sounds like a cover of an Avril Lavigne song, but it’s not. The songs co-written by Amber, Julia and Sarah are even better, like “Goodbye”, “Where You Are” and “Daring To Be Different”. The latter is about being true to yourself which is a theme that is also reflected in “Faded” and “Find Yourself In You” (co-written by the sisters). “Now Or Never” is the hardest rocking track on this album, and one of my favorites. But, the best track is the sadly beautiful ballad, “Angels Cry”, which is a re-recorded version of a song that appeared on their self-titled 2004 CD. “Heaven Open Your Eyes”, which is a bonus track included only on versions sold in Christian bookstores, is also re-recorded from that previous release. So, let’s jump back, shall we?
But, first, watch two videos from the 2007 album here:
Everlife‘s latest album, At the End of Everything (2013), is not Christian worship rock or Disney tween pop. This album is more personal as the sisters share their post-Disney journey. “Three Little Girls” and “What Made Us” are obvious reflections of this. The songs are, mostly, softer and more intimate. “Coming Home” is the album’s excellent first single, but, I love the pleasant melody of “Are We OK”. The closing title track is another favorite. This album was preceded by an EP, What’s Beautiful (2010), and a single “Will It Be Enough” (2011). The EP features a track called “Coffee At Midnight”. This sparse acoustic track is one of my favorite songs, of any, from these amazingly talented sisters.
Watch the videos for “What’s Beautiful” and “Coming Home” here:
2001.04.01 – Daydream: An Acoustic Album (Independent Records) [Album]
2004.08.24 – Everlife (Tovah/Shelter Records) [Album]
2007.02.20 – Everlife (Buena Vista Records/Hollywood Records) [Album]
2009.04.28 – At the Love Library [Acoustic EP]
2010.04.20 – What’s Beautiful [EP]
2011.06.14 – “Will It Be Enough” [Single]
2013.03.15 – At the End of Everything (97 Records) [Album]