Contemporary Christian music band Relinquish is releasing its second album on May 31, entitled “Faith Let’s Me Believe.”
Relinquish is based in Roanoke, founded by Luke Fortner (vocals and keys), along with Jared King on guitar, Jon Hopkins (drums), and Cam Spinella (bass).
Fortner is from Vinton. Other band members “are from all over, spanning from California, Missouri, and North Carolina.” They all graduated last year from Liberty University, two with degrees in music.
The new EP has six tracks: “Faith Let’s Me Believe, “Live Like You Are,” “On the Shore,” “Wanderer,” “Fortress,” and “I’ll Still Do the Same.”
“Live Like You Are” and “On the Shore” have been released as singles.
“These songs are by a combination of writers in a network with our record label Liberty Music Group,” said Fortner. “We work with songwriters that are based all over the country, and what we do is seek some of the best writers to sit down and either do co-writes or re-writes to hopefully create an amazing song.”
Fortner says this is the second album the band has created, “but this is our first album where we have found ‘us’ and our sound as Relinquish.”
The band considers their music and performances to be a ministry.
“Our band will always be ministry-focused and in that we hope to encourage and present the Gospel through our lyrics,” said Fortner.
Lyrics from these tracks replay in your head— “When we see rain, Faith sees a rainbow; when we see a hurt, Faith sees a healing” from “Faith Let’s Me Believe”; from “On the Shore,” “sometimes you don’t still the sea, but you still my soul”; or “You are so loved, so ‘Live Like You Are’.”
The album was recorded in Nashville and Lynchburg. Fortner said, “We were blessed to be able to work with several guys in Nashville.”
Most of the band members have day jobs, “however it’s all in music,” said Fortner. “We are all either writing, producing, traveling, or creating music in some way, shape, or form for a full-time job.”
Fortner has had several life changes in the past few months. He married his wife Megan and also accepted a position in Raleigh, N.C., as a worship pastor.
“I am still traveling full-time, but my wife is very supportive,” said Fortner. “Most of the time I am traveling Thursday through Saturday and rolling back into town on a Sunday morning and sometimes heading out again right after service. My schedule can get pretty crazy sometimes and it feels like I am either living in a car or on a plane, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!”
In the past year, Relinquish has played 100 tour dates.
“We have been everywhere from Orlando, Fla., all the way up to Boston, Mass., and all in between,” Fortner says. “We have played with several major acts over the last couple of years like For King & Country, Building 429, Zach Williams, Bethel Music, and several others. We also will be playing in June with Stars Go Dim, and this fall with Jason Crabb as well as the Rhett Walker Band.”
The band plays multiple events between fairs, churches, festivals, and camps.
While the band is based in Roanoke, they have a practice studio in Vinton.
“You will sometimes see us loading up and heading out late at night or early in the morning,” Fortner notes. “As far as rehearsing with technology, the way it is, we only get together a day before we go out and do a run now, sometimes we just meet and since we are all musicians we have an understanding of the skill level it takes for us to be on the road.”
Their typical concert is about an hour and 15 minutes each night, mainly original songs, with a couple of covers.
“We try to have fun as much as possible and take people out of an environment just to forget about life in that one hour and be encouraged and to come away with something positive and uplifting,” said Fortner.
The new album and other merchandise can be purchased on their website at http://www.relinquishmusic.com/. Their music can also be downloaded on Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, and any major online retailer.
Fortner says you can also come and see them live to receive a copy of the album.
Upcoming events over the summer include performances at Fuge Camps in Tigerville, S.C., and Ridgecrest, N.C. They will be performing in Sugar Grove, Va., on June 29 at the Reach Out Revival and for camps in Scottsville, Va., and Red Hook, N.Y.
Luke Fortner is a former student of Vinton music teacher Susan Lewis. He began singing when he was 3 years old and taking music lessons from her when he was 6. When most children were asking for toys for birthdays and Christmas, Fortner was accumulating musical equipment and a stage in his basement. Fortner attended elementary school at Mineral Springs Baptist Church and high school at Parkway Christian Academy. He had sung in about 15 different states by the time he was 12. He started Relinquish when he was just 15.
Relinquish says that while “some artists attempt to entertain the audience, others have a much deeper goal”; they “want to inspire and motivate listeners, sharing deeper themes and galvanizing messages.”
Their goal, wherever they set up, is that “the sound coming out of the speakers is one of unity, hope, and faith.” That’s true for their new album as well.