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VERSES sing for change

Meet VERSES—the awesome electronic pop band from Newcastle.

Made up of brothers Luke and Joel O’Dea, and Luke’s wife Jess Clayton O’Dea, this trio is on a mission to create the “modern day memory verse,” using Bible verses to create songs that get you dancing.

When they’re not on tour, Luke, Joel and Jess go to Northlakes Salvos, NSW, and they’ve written this year’s song for the international Self Denial appeal called 'Neighbour (Be The Change)'. We chatted to them about why they were inspired to support the Salvos' work overseas.

What inspired your song 'Neighbour'?

Luke: What I really wanted to capture through this song is that your neighbour is not just the person who lives next door to you. We know what’ s happening in countries around the world almost instantly now. So I think one thing that is really important in that verse where Jesus says, “Love your neighbour as yourself”, is that we now…have a global neighbourhood, and that’s why the Self Denial Appeal is so important.

What was the hardest thing about writing this song?

Luke: We can’t write this song and not live this out ourselves… It’s a challenge to ourselves as much as anyone who hears this that, “when [God] gave [his] only son [he] gave a love I can’t refuse.” That’s the challenge to remember that — and that’s going to lead me to be the change.

How did you get involved with the Salvos?

Joel: Luke and I grew up in the Salvos. Our grandparents were officers (ministers), our mum was an officer and now our parents oversee our church at Northlakes Salvos. So I guess you can say we have always been involved with the Salvos.

How does music help us to relate to people who are different?

Jess: “You don’t need anyone to interpret [music]. You feel it and you hear it and it moves you. This song is [something] we haven’t done before. You hear this message of, “Okay I’m going to love my neighbour like it was my saviour. Like the devotion I give to loving Jesus, I want to love someone else like that. And I think music is the way in, it’s the invitation, it’s the door, and that’s so powerful.”


Download 'Neighbour (Be the Change)' for free now at

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