A light, happy song that will stay with you all day.
You give me strength to stand and fightI feel a rising hope stirring in my soulI found a love that won’t let goIn the lion’s eyes
In 2015, Becca Bradley released her second studio EP, The Lion’s Eyes, and we can’t believe it took us so long to discover the charming, sweetly sung title track. The tune is incredibly poppy, and the chorus has an great energy that is at once both danceable and reflective, brimming with Catholic themes.
Bradley’s voice is wonderful and cheery, displaying a clear tone that is rarely touched by any vibrato. Her light vocal timbre adds an innocence to the music that bolsters the faithfulness of her lyrics. In her live recording, Bradley is incredibly charismatic and looks like she’s having a ball performing with her friends. It’s hard not to crack a smile when you see Bradley sing, because of the joy that she so obviously takes from performing.
We were taken aback at how well the accompaniment builds with just three musicians behind her. They open with a slick country guitar lick that follows throughout the verses, and the percussionist does a lot for the sound with just a kick drum and a tambourine. The chorus is where the song truly shines, with a catchy hook that perfectly suites the lithe nature of Bradley’s musical style.
Some may prefer the arrangement of the studio recording, featured below, which allows Bradley to layer harmonies over her lead vocals and the full drum set to add a fast-paced marching rhythm, which gives the chorus a similar energy to the 2014 mega-hit “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon. The banjo and the spacing between the harmonies also give the studio recording a little more of a folk/bluegrass feeling.
Bradley spoke with Timothy Yap of JubileeCast about the meaning behind the lyrics. She said:
“The Lion’s Eyes” is a powerful song about our identity as Christians. Psalm 141:8 says, “But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in You I take refuge — do not give me over to death.” In today’s culture, it is easy to place our identity on a myriad of different things: relationships, success, money, beauty, fame … the list goes on. It can get very confusing and overwhelming and can make us feel “surrounded yet alone.” But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, all of those things begin to fade away. He is “a brilliant light that destroys the lies,” and He calls us “chosen, accepted, forgiven [and] free.” When we really let that truth sink in, it puts everything else in perspective.