Karli Gerbrandt and Sean Quigley are Bold As Lions. The Winnipeg duo, who are engaged to be married, released their debut album last month. Courtesy Bold As Lions.

Viral video star returns with new band, same hopeful message

Two-and-a-half years ago, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student in Winnipeg named Sean Quigley became a viral sensation when he released a video for his pop-punk cover of the Christmas classic, “The Little Drummer Boy.”

The video, which shows Quigley banging on his drums in a winter wonderland, has been viewed more than 2.8 million times and received coverage from media outlets throughout Canada. It allowed Quigley to talk about his faith, and he parlayed the video’s success into an opportunity to raise money for Siloam Mission, a Christian humanitarian agency in downtown Winnipeg that works with the homeless.

Now, Quigley is 19 years old, and he’s back with a new band that includes his fiancée, 21-year-old Karli Gerbrandt. Calling themselves Bold As Lions, the duo released a song and video at the end of April, titled “Hope Again.”

“Hope Again” is an infectious, upbeat modern rock song that talks about persevering through difficult times. The duo wrote the song to honour their friend, Joshua Bentley, a fellow musician who was assaulted on the Osborne Street Bridge this past January. The 18-year-old died in hospital shortly after the attack.

Quigley and Gerbrandt sing about their feelings regarding the incident, and use the tragedy to point to God’s grace and the hope that is found in Christ.

“You can’t end his life, we beat death one more time / The hope that’s in our hearts covered up the scars that you left when you left him there,” they sing. “We are not afraid, we’re covered in grace / And we will walk in faith that we’ll see him again.”

The band wanted to let Bentley’s family know that his friends will never forget about him, Quigley told CBC News in May.

“We wanted this to not only be a light in the darkness, in the middle of such a dark situation, but bring people hope,” he said.

Its positive message aside, “Hope Again” is simply a great rock song. It starts off with distorted, palm-muted power chords that give way to a sweeping chorus, all topped off with Gerbrandt’s alluring vocals. Hand claps and a symphonic keyboard part add flourishes that help the melodic hooks stay with you for days.

“Hope Again” is one of the first singles from The Hope Movement, the debut album Bold As Lions released last month. If the smart songwriting and production of “Hope Again” are any indication, the album should be well worth listening to.

“We want to be a light in the darkness in the music industry--just complete transparency and honesty,” Quigley told the Winnipeg Free Press last December.

He explained that the band takes its name from Proverbs 28:1: “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”

“I have my own personal beliefs and faith that I believe in strongly, but I have nothing to hide,” Quigley told the Free Press. “I’m just as broken as the next person, and I’m perfectly fine letting the whole world know if it’s going to help someone.”

Visit www.boldaslions.ca.

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About the author


Special to ChristianWeek

Aaron Epp is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer, Musical Routes columnist, and former Senior Correspondent for ChristianWeek.