After the Chase
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After the Chase

Band Christian Rock


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"After the Chase - Make Me New"

Reviewed by Andy Argyrakis 2008 -

Sounds like … a sophisticated mix of organic pop/rock along the lines of Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson and Watermark with the folksy flavorings of Sara Groves, Rich Mullins, and Nickel Creek.

At a glance … After the Chase offers vertically-tipped, socially conscious songwriting bathed in hearty harmonies, plus earthy production from Nate Sabin.

It's been five years since husband wife/duo After the Chase released their self-titled debut, but Nathan (guitar, piano, vocals) and Jenna Strong (percussion, piano, vocals) have continued to chisel out their sound on the road since then. The Petaluma, California couple first rose to local fame as worship leaders before branching out into more full-fledged concert performances streaked with storytelling and dramatic accompaniment. All the while, the pair became mouthpieces for social justice and environmental awareness, themes that figure prominently into the Strongs' newest release.

For Make Me New, After the Chase enlisted the help of critically acclaimed producer Nate Sabin, best known for his work with Sara Groves and Jason Gray, though he's also been a bridge builder for many indie acts trying to make more professional inroads with the music industry. Though the Strongs aren't quite as advanced as Groves or the like-minded Derek Webb and Andrew Peterson, there's still plenty of charm throughout the project's ten cuts.

The radio single "I'll Be a Fool" (which was #29 on the CRW charts as of early September) takes inspiration from 1 Corinthians and possesses a world music mix that bears some resemblance to Rich Mullins throughout its acoustic introduction before progressing into a more eclectic jam a la Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints CD. "Make Me New" settles into a gentler folk/pop style with Nathan's vocals mirroring Bebo Norman, as Jenna supports with subdued but beautiful harmonies. Jenna later steps into the center spotlight with "In This Place," evoking Watermark's Christy Nockels or Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins as she emotionally and poetically praises the Lord for His "endless love and everlasting grace."

The trade off between worshipful expressions and personal reflections continues throughout "Second Chance," which is all about leaving baggage at the foot of the cross, while simultaneously rejoicing in the Lord's majesty. "We Wait" is the CD's primary mouthpiece for social equality, strewn with desperate cries of healing for the downtrodden. The tune also shows off Sabin's skillful production touches by starting off as a somber ballad before exploding with full band accompaniment beefed up by massive melodic layers.

Regardless of the topic tackled or stylistic framework, After the Chase took the proper time to cement their artistry, and are now certainly on par with the creative standards to find broader recognition through singer/songwriter circles and additional radio airplay.

For more information on After the Chase, visit or - Christianity Today

"After the Chase - Make Me New Review"

After The Chase is Californian husband-wife singer/songwriter duo Nathan and Jenna Strong, and their 2003 self-titled debut already had me in their corner when I picked up sophomore effort, Make Me New, produced by Nate Sabin. The five years have only added to their thoughtful folk-rock charms.

The percolating rhythms of opener “Without Your Love” immediately draw you in, and the buoyant hooky chorus keeps your interest easily. But it’s the potent lyrics, with their underlying exuberance, that really sink a hook deep into your mind. Songwriter Nathan Strong’s desperately honest lyrics resonate quickly: “I need to live away from my sin/away from myself/ I want to be somebody else/ to be somebody new/ the person I want to be is who I am with you.” If you haven’t faced this desperate longing at some point, you haven’t examined your own heart.

I like the slight Mid-eastern vibe injected into the lush and light-filled “I’ll Be a Fool,” as well as the sweet strings of the title track. Jenna’s tracks tend to be a bit moodier and ambient (“In This Place”), but always deeply expressive (the quietly acoustic “Second Chance,” notable also for its achingly moving violin). But the duo’s clear strength is found in their focused, godly perspective and powerful lyrics. The soft vocals and glimmering guitars of “We Wait,” a stunner powerfully expressing honest desperation and surrender, will stop you in your tracks. The bouncy “Apple of My Eye” rides thick organ riffs while lyrically laying out the giving heart of the Father in heart-rending clarity.

The thoughtfully arranged closer “No More,” at over 7 minutes the longest track, comes across as a poignant plea for peace. Its attentive placement, along with that of the upbeat opener “Without Your Love” is only one indication of the Strongs’ potent gifting. They know their way around a studio. Make Me New will expose you to a rich and thoughtful perspective of modern day faith. -

"Make Me New: More Hooks Than a Bait & Tackle Shop"

This husband & wife team derive their stage name from an old southern saying, ‘He chased her until she caught him.’ After the Chase didn’t have to run very fast to catch me. Their sophomore indie album, “Make Me New,” is so full of hooks it is impossible not to bite.

How many independent projects do you know that can boast players like Nate Sabin on guitar, Phil Madeira on B3, Steve Brewster on drums and percussions, John Catchings on cello, and background vocals by Staci Frenes? And as great as these artists are, they simply provide support for the fine artistry of Nathan and Jenna Strong. The songwriting is strong, the vocals rich and inviting, the musicianship tight.

The opening cut, “Without Your Love,” sports a happy little 80’s vibe that meshes seamlessly with Nathan Strong’s warm and friendly lead vocals. The tune segues into the equally bouncy, “I’ll Be Your Fool,” which in turn eases into a gently rocking acoustic guitar ballad called, “Make Me New.”

Jenna Strong takes over lead vocal chores on the more moody and emotion-laden, “In This Place,” a song she wrote. Jenna imbues the lyrics with an intimacy that is as striking as it is refreshing. She is equally vulnerable on her self-penned hymn of repentance, “Second Chance.” “It’s a second chance for the third time,” she laments. “Another ‘I forgive you’ that shouldn’t be mine.”

Best cuts include “Shine” and the gutsy, seven-minute monster track, “No More.” Fans of Watermark, Judd & Maggie, Andrew Peterson, and JJ Heller will find a lot to like in the thoughtful lyrics and folk-pop sensibilities of After the Chase. -


After the Chase, debut album 2003, hit radio single "Run".
Make Me New, sophmore album 2008, hit radio single "I'll Be A Fool", charting at number 29 on CRW, summer of 2008.



It is rare to find a person who writes lyrics, composes melodies, plays multiple instruments, and loves God with all their heart. Now imagine two of these unique, artistic people joining their gifts to serve God together.
This is the core of After the Chase: husband and wife duo, Nathan and Jenna Strong. As worship leaders and performers, their approach to music is unique. When performing live, they bring more than music to the stage -- they add drama and stories to their songs -- and also mix in their own quirky sense of humor to every concert. When leading worship, they point towards Jesus as the one person who has the power to change us, and in changing us, to change the world.
With a passion for short term missions, for the environment, and for social justice, Nathan and Jenna strongly believe that a life of faith is useless unless that faith is expressed in real, concrete action.
Their recently released sophomore album "Make Me New" captures in song their emotions and journeys of the last few years. Just like the book of Psalms, it is filled with fervent prayers, heartfelt worship, and anguished questions... their songwriting is skillful, beautiful, gritty, and winsome all at once. Produced by veteran producer Nate Sabin (Jason Gray, Dove Award nominated Sara Groves), this album takes ATC's music to a new level.
The name of the band, After the Chase, comes from an old Southern saying about romance: "He chased her until she caught him." "Throughout our lives," says Nathan, "we find ourselves chasing after God, only to find that God has been catching us all along. Our music is our response to being caught up in the unconditional love offered to every one of us by the Creator of the universe."