After appearing on "America’s Got Talent" in 2018, the Humlie siblings released their debut album, "We Three," in December. (Illustration by Sofie Moustahfid, University of Maryland)
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After appearing on "America’s Got Talent" in 2018, the Humlie siblings released their debut album, "We Three," in December. (Illustration by Sofie Moustahfid, University of Maryland)

The ‘America’s Got Talent’ alumni are primed for the spotlight.

Together, Joshua, Bethany and Manny Humlie have created a sibling band called We Three, and to get the recognition they deserve, the three competed in “America’s Got Talent” in 2018. Although they didn’t win, they advanced relatively far, which helped them to gain fans from all over the world. Their fans are what motivates them to keep playing music, and they have been releasing new music and music videos, including one for their hit song, “Heaven’s Not Too Far Away,” which was featured on “America’s Got Talent.”

The band self-titled their first ever album and released it this past December. It consists of 12 songs with Manny on lead vocals and guitar, Bethany on vocals and bass and Joshua on drums and piano. A combination of songs that focus on different types of love, including self-love and love for family, the album breathes both the beauty and ugliness of love as a whole.

If you watched “America’s Got Talent” this past season, you’ve seen We Three perform the first song on their album, “Lifeline,” as their second song on the show. The music is upbeat, and at first, you might think the lyrics are the opposite, but if you listen closely, you’ll realize that the chorus isn’t negative like it seems: “Can you call my lifeline ’cause I give up / And I’ll raise my white flag and just give in,” the group sings. A white flag symbolizes surrender, but it’s not in the way of defeat.

In a later verse, listeners find out that the singer is referencing perfection: “And I feel the pressure to be perfect forever / that’s just how I feel / I’m just trying to be real.” The song emphasizes a struggle someone is having between being perfect and giving up that perfection to be themselves. Manny also tells the judges that the song shows how “being vulnerable is really, really powerful.”

We Three: Sibling Band Perform Touching Original Called "Lifeline" - America's Got Talent 2018

“Timeless” is the first song on the album representing the love of a relationship and how someone falls in love with another. “We’ll be intertwined / Never get you off my mind / Have a love that’s timeless / Never look behind us.” The narrator expresses his desire for this love and this specific person. He hopes they can have a long-lasting relationship, and even by the end, he’ll love her the same way he did in the beginning. “Baby, when we are ninety / And your brown eyes look at me / I’ll still write these rhymes for you / Sing them when you want me to.”

“Heaven’s Not Too Far Away,” a touching song the siblings first performed on “America’s Got Talent,” famously received four yeses and kicked off the group’s journey on the show; now it’s a hit on their new album. At its performance, the ballad brought tears to the audience and “America’s Got Talent” judge Mel B.

Incorporating their feelings of grief for their late mother who lost a battle with cancer, the band wrote from the perspective of their mother talking to them. “Heaven’s not too far away / I know someday you’ll visit / And I didn’t think it’d go this way / Can I please have one more minute?”

“Makeup” is a song with self-love written all over it, as well as love from another person. You’d expect a song about makeup to be encouraging the use of it, but instead, We Three turns it into a disavowal of face powder and colored pencils. “So, don’t straighten your hair, or put on your makeup / You’re more than what’s there, you don’t need to fake love / You’re more than enough, from the moment you wake up / So leave your face bare, and put away all of your makeup.” Preaching the natural beauty of people, the band ties together how other people see each other with how one views themselves.

Reminding me a bit of Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect” is We Three’s “Sweater Weather,” which has lyrics wrapped in the knitting of love. Manny sings about a cozy relationship during a chilly season: “Cuddles by the fire, a bottle of champagne and sour patch bites / Movies till way past midnight, when most of them were just alright / Dancing to Sheeran’s Barcelona, made me remember just how much I love you.” The scene is a perfect date for many couples, and the song sets the mood.

We Three - Heaven's Not Too Far (Official Music Video)

“We keep going round and round and round / Will you say, will you say, will you say you’re sorry?” The struggles of love come through in this song as Manny and Bethany sing a duet, talking to each other through the lyrics. “Yeah, I get selfish when I’m insecure / And I get flustered when you talk about her,” Bethany sings. “Think I’m stuck in the middle of your paradise / And I’m not trying to ruin all your pretty lies,” Manny sings. Both of the people involved understand the difficulties in the relationship and realize it might not be working out.

A few other songs are included in this self-titled album, and each portrays love in its own way. However, the album closes with “Fairytale,” the ultimate portrayal of love, as people tend to wish their own love life was one from a happily-ever-after fairytale. Everyone’s love life is different, but in this fairytale, the narrator wants to be close to his significant other so they can spend their fairytale together. “If I can’t feel your heart beat, you’re too far away / If I can’t dry your tears, you’re too far away / Once in a while, love gives a fairytale.” Hopefully, this couple gets their happily-ever-after.

Even though it’s We Three’s first album, the record has been put together nicely to show the power of love as it takes you up and down through life. Hopefully, the project will give the band the extra push they need to tour the entire U.S., not just Washington and Oregon as they recently have been. Will they stray away from love in their next album, or will they take on a new approach? Listeners will have to keep up with them to find out.

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Michelle Dreyer

Southern New Hampshire University

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