Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Fireflight combines thick catchy hooks and intense rhythms along with passionate melodic vocals. Captivating every crowd they play for, Dawn Futch (vocals), Justin Cox (guitar, bgv), Glenn Drennen (guitar), Wendy Drennen (bass) and Phee Shorb (drums) truly want the audience to leave wanting to know more about their music. “We want people to just be blown away by what just happened,” explains guitarist Justin Cox, “We want them to be touched, and to be so excited about it that they want to tell everyone. Simply put we want our music to move, to inspire, and to challenge.” It’s that sentiment that has led to a strong fan base in the southeastern part of the U.S. and now abroad.
The band independently recorded and released its debut album, Glam-Rok (2002), produced by guitarist Justin Cox. The five-track EP On the Subject of Moving Forward followed in 2004, leading to a recording contract offer from Flicker Records. The band's first Flicker release, The Healing of Harms (2006), was produced by Skidd Mills and became a major hit in the Christian rock community, reaching number 37 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. The album spawned a pair of Christian rock radio hit singles, "You Decide" and "Waiting," the latter of which reached number 27 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart.
Healing of Harms is one part testimony and one part inspiration to those who are alone. It also speaks to those facing insurmountable odds and needing answers after falling in harms way. It is an album that exposes pride, gossip, guilt, and shame and then reciprocates by answering it with humility, love, forgiveness and hope.
The band's second Flicker release, Unbreakable (2008), proved even more popular. Produced by Rob Hawkins, it reached number 15 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart and spawned another big Christian rock radio hit in the title track.
Unbreakable, based on the classic gospel story of the adulteress set to be stoned, examines the woman’s empowered mindset after the tables are turned on her accusers.
“The people in charge were ready to kill her, and Jesus speaks up for her, changes their minds and makes them feel ashamed for accusing her,” explains Dawn Richardson, the group’s fiery lead singer. “How would you feel if you were the woman? She knows she’s guilty, and yet she’s suddenly free and given a second chance.” True to Richardson’s resoluteness, lyrics from the band’s sophomore project capture that same spirit of renewed strength.
Like the title track, Unbreakable addresses the many trying circumstances that can strike one’s soul. The Love We Had Before examines the disagreements that can swallow a relationship whole, while Brand New Day addresses the traps of depression and the power to move past them. Forever takes a more somber tone with admissions of loneliness and isolation, yet You Gave Me a Promise exudes defiant hope against a backdrop of Siamese Dream-like guitar layers. Wrapped In Your Arms, the album’s acoustic closer, ties all the themes together with one final statement of faith and triumph.
Music aside, Fireflight is very real about putting their passions into action. The group actively supports causes like To Write Love on Her Arms, which addresses issues like cutting, and they’re currently championing The Legacy of Hope International.
“My brother, his best friend and his wife started the organization,” Wendy remarks. “They are building an orphanage and school in Cambodia to house abandoned children and victims of the sex slave trade, which is sadly still strong there. Our friend’s wife is Cambodian and they’ve made this their life cause. We’ve adopted their vision for helping the Cambodian people.”
At home, Fireflight passionately embraces the cause of one-on-one outreach. The group manages its own MySpace page and personally responds to all messages. Likewise, band members hang out after shows to talk with anyone needing help.
"Finally, the doors are opening," says Richardson. "It really feels like God has given us these opportunities so that we can help reach those who are wounded, those who need this music." Fireflight wants to write music that people can feel, make records that are universal enough to stand the test of time, and stay genuine and honest or die trying.