The debut album of Irish worship band Bluetree hit No. 1 on the Christian Retail and Praise & Worship charts this week and No. 125 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.
"With the album sales and growing success of the radio single, 'God Of This City,' I believe a new breakout band is on the horizon," reported Greg Lucid, CEO of Lucid Artist, the label under which Bluetree released God Of This City in the United States on Tuesday.
"As the lyrics to the album's title song say, 'Greater things are yet to come…,'" he added after calling this week's success an "Irish-invasion."
As an independent band from Belfast, Ireland, Bluetree had recorded their debut album at the Windmill Lane Studios, the preferred studio of Irish rock group U2. The record was eventually released in September 2007 and picked up on January 24, 2008, by Fierce! Records for U.K. distribution.
What vaulted the band into international popularity was the hit song "God Of This City," which was covered by worship leader Chris Tomlin on two albums and became the name and theme for the latest project and world tour of the Passion movement led by Louie Giglio.
Today, aside from being sung in church services around the globe, "God Of This City" has become an R&R Most Added hit single in the United States as scores of stations nationally begin playing the song.
"Since writing ['God Of This City'], the band's momentum has been nothing but fast and furious," remarked Gospel Music Channel.
Though the band's name may not be drawn from Scripture, as many worship groups' tend to be, the name reveals what the band "is all about" and what they believe Christians should be doing - standing out.
"If you're in a forest and there's nothing but green trees — everything being as you'd normally see it — but then you see a blue tree with blue bark, blue leaves, blue branches, well, it would catch your eye," explains lead singer Aaron Boyd.
"And as Christians we're called to stand out, to be different—like blue trees," he adds.
The band's music style has been described as a convergence of worship, rock, and technology that crosses Chris Tomlin, Delirious? and the David Crowder Band with "the alternative aura of Oasis," as ChristianMusicToday.com put it.
Since its inception, Bluetree has desired to create an atmosphere of worship where people could encounter the Spirit of God through music – "a climate where the complete expression was greater than a singular attitude of the heart and music a secondary compliment."
In May 2009 the band plans to launch their charity "Stand Out International," which directly rescues kids out of the sex industry.