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For King & Country, stylized as for KING & COUNTRY and formerly known as Joel & Luke, is a Christian pop duo composed of Australian-American brothers Joel & Luke Smallbone. The Nashville-based brothers' 2012 debut record Crave, has received much praise, and they were named by Billboard as one of the "New Artists To Watch" for 2012.American Songwriter described them as "Australia's answer to Coldplay."
SUSIE Magazine raves, "It takes only one listen to the brothers' rich, upbeat, alternative sounds and thoughtful lyrics to understand their sudden popularity."
They describe their philosophy as such:
"The power of music can impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel... it has the ultimate power not only to change someone's day, but to impact them for eternity. This is why we write music and sing songs - we hope that people will be moved, encouraged and stirred to live a life for Someone greater than themselves."
They cite U2, Mutemath, OneRepublic, The Beatles, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Switchfoot, as well as film scores such as those from Braveheart and Gladiator, as their musical influences.
The brothers were born in Sydney, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991. The Smallbones are the younger brothers of Christian recording artist and speaker Rebecca St. James, and the brothers-in-law of Jacob Fink, bassist for the band Foster the People.
Their father was a music promoter, and Joel recalls, "going to these rock concerts, sitting on my father's shoulders, plugging my ears...Honestly, in a lot of ways I feel like music chose me and as I grew older, I made a clear decision to fully lean into it."
Early Career, 2007-2010:
During high school, the brothers did background vocals and other supporting roles for their sister, St. James, and various bands in concerts across America. Shortly after Luke graduated from high school, the brothers decided to explore the possibility of forming a band, and in 2007, they began performing as their own band. They began their career with the band name "Joel & Luke", which they later changed to "Austoville". In 2008, they released an EP entitled A Tale of Two Towns with six songs, three of which appeared on Crave with slightly different melodies and lyrics ("Missing", "Sane", and "Love's to Blame") and three others entitled "Broken Lullabies", "Believe Me Now", and "Something's Gotta Give". Love's to Blame was co-written by St. James.
In 2009, they signed on with Warner Music Group with Ben Glover as their producer. They changed their name to "For King & Country", after a British battle cry. Luke said,
"We wanted a band name that carried more meaning. We were in the studio recording our debut record that Joel had the idea of All The King's Men, like the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. Our producer overheard our conversation and swung around in his chair and said, 'What about For King & Country?' And we all felt a sense of providence in that moment. "For King and Country" was the battle cry of English soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their king and their country. And now it has become our mission, to lay down our lives for our King and our country."
For King & Country: The EP (2011):
In 2011, they released For King & Country: The EP. Their song "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" was released as a single and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Christian Songs chart. They described "Busted Heart" as "really a universal cry of humanity for something greater than ourselves...People think they've got it all sorted out, and life will deal you those blows.
Their debut album Crave was released on 28 February 2012. The album hit No. 2 on the iTunes top Christian & Gospel albums on its day of release and No. 42 on the overall chart. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart, and has remained on the chart for 26 weeks, as of the 11 August 2012 chart, and also charted on Billboard 200. The album has received rave reviews from critics.
Their first single, "Busted Heart" was the fastest-rising single of 2011 in their genre, climbing the Top 10 for weeks.
Shortly after Crave's release, they released "The Proof of Your Love" as a single, remixed and titled "The Proof of Your Love: The Monologue Mix". The single differs from the album version with a monologue spoken by Joel from 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (The Message) as the bridge instead of the guitar riff on the album version. The single is currently charting on Billboard's Christian Songs chart at No. 11 with 19 consecutive weeks on the chart as of the 15 September 2012 chart.
The band toured on the 2012 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular. In May 2012, they appeared on the Huckabee show on Fox News Channel.
Their debut hit song, "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" was featured on 28 Oct 2012 episode of VH1's "Rehab with Dr. Drew." Among other television placements, their songs "People Change" and "Love's To Blame" have been featured The CW's Vampire Diaries, and "Light It Up" and "Sane" have been featured on the Lifetime show Drop Dead Diva.
In July 2012, they announced The Proof of Your Love Tour with Jason Castro and Dara Maclean to visit 30 cities from September through November 2012.
In October 2012, they released an original Christmas song entitled "Baby Boy"; peaking at No. 20 on the chart.
During the northern hemisphere summer of 2013, the band was forced to take time off when the 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Luke dropped to 125 pounds (57 kg) due to an attack of ulcerative colitis.
In June 2013, Joel Smallbone appeared in a non-singing role as King Xerxes in the film, The Book of Esther from Pure Flix Entertainment.
In August 2013, the band released Hope Is What We Crave: Live, a live album and DVD, both recorded at The Factory in Nashville on the last night of the band's first headlining tour. They also released "Hope Is What We Crave" as a single. It is a reworked version of "Crave" from their album, with slightly altered lyrics and a new melody.
The band toured with Casting Crowns starting in February 2014.
RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG. 2014-present:
The band released their new album Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong on September 16, 2014.
Luke announced his first child, Jude James Smallbone, on 19 December 2012.
On 7 July 2013, Joel married Moriah Peters.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments