Bethany Joy Lenz. You’re probably wondering where you’ve heard that name before if you ever have. It’s quite possible that you have no idea who this talented artist is. I was first introduced to her music through One Tree Hill where she played the character Haley James (Scott) on the popular CW show. In season 1 episode 14: Suddenly Everything Has Changed her voice was first heard as she sang a cover of the song “Elsewhere” by Sarah McLachlan. Surprisingly Joy’s voice wasn’t the reason for her being cast on the show but it did become an integral part of the character bringing ahead a new storyline. When Haley went on tour the producers of One Tree Hill thought it would be clever to have the actress mirror her character. Bethany Joy Lenz then set out on a 23 city tour in the United States with fellow artist Tyler Hilton who guest starred in the show as Chris Keller and Gavin DeGraw who sings the shows theme “I Don’t Want to Be.” This led to her being signed by Epic Records but before an album could be released she was dropped. For a little while Joy alongside her good friend Amber Sweeney created a duo called Everly. I believe they decided to part ways as of now.
Getting your hands on her music isn’t easy so when I saw this album for sale online at BTF Concerts I nearly peed my pants. I didn’t actually, that’s just what I say to express how excited I was. But I’ve been waiting to get a hard copy forever. At least that’s what if felt like. Unfortunately i’m still not there as a problem arose. The CDs were damaged and the manufacturer refused to burn new discs and send them out but they were nice enough to give us a zip file of the songs we purchased so they could keep our money. I however, only bought it for the physical aspect. It’s like iTunes. I absolutely hate it. If I want to buy an album I want the CD, in a case, with the booklet. Not some stupid digital version. That’s not how I do.
Let’s get to the music!
After what feels like forever the wait is finally over! Then Slowly Grows is a breathtakingly beautiful piece of work. Joy’s lullaby-like voice is raw and magical in every aspect. It’s compelling nature has the power to calm you down no matter what mood you’re in. I could fall asleep to her soothing sound in a minute if I wasn’t too busy enjoying it to do so. All of the melodies are incredibly beautiful and fun to listen to. The soft use of a guitar or piano instrumentally in the background is necessary to set the mood but never overpowering. Joy’s vocals are always the main attraction. Her lyrics are personal and earnest as they find their way into your heart. This album is absolutely precious and nothing short of amazing. I could go into detail on every song but I don’t think it’s needed. I believe you’re all entitled to your own opinions and hope you’ll share them with me if you do in fact check Then Slowly Grows out. Hopefully you won’t be able to take it off repeat.
My personal favourites are Shiver, Devil’s Archerists, Anybody Else & Blue Sky even though every song is perfect in it’s own way. This album is a product of a true artists love for music and songwriting. She’s not in it for the money but because this is what Joy lives for; music. Her gift deserves to be shared and discovered by the entire world. I’m so proud of how far she’s come and can’t wait to see everything the future holds for this wonderful young women.
If this is your first time ever hearing the name Bethany Joy Lenz i’m sure it won’t be your last.
“Music’s something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life, whether I’m just playing guitar in my living room or whether I’m playing for 3,000 people.”
Interested in some old school Bethany Joy? I recommend searching the following songs on Youtube: Halo, Songs In My Pockets & Crazy Girls. Without ever hearing them I don’t know if I ever would’ve become the fan I am today. Then again I have One Tree Hill to thank for introducing me to Joy in the first place.