I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again: music is super important to me. My brain functions and moves in such a way to make music just make sense.
To make things more intricate, I’ve developed this weird condition called synesthesia (more specifically, auditory-visual synesthesia), which basically means that whenever I hear music playing, I see what’s happening, i.e., when I hear Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, especially at the beginning of the movement, I see landscapes as if I’m flying over them and vivid color pops out at me.
No, I’m not taking drugs.
All that to say, I’ve been listening to three different, yet equally incredible, albums: Hillsong United’s Empires, Colony House’s When I Was Younger, and Copeland’s Ixora (combined with Ixora Twin).
Hillsong United has yet to not amaze me with what they put out. They turned a corner stylistically with Aftermath, moving from strictly worship music to more of a Christian indie alternative sound, using their musicality to paint the picture of the depths of Christianity as they moved forward and made Zion and Empires.
What’s so special about this album is that, in their efforts to progress past simply worship music, they’ve tapped into something that I’ve been trying to channel as I write music: their own personal struggles with faith and how they’re living out what they believe. Songs like Heart Like Heaven and Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) cut right to the feels with the raw proclamation of, “God, I really need you because life isn’t going so great.”
When I Was Younger
Colony House is one of those bands that came out of nowhere and made me fall in love with them instantly. I never heard of them until December.
Or so I thought.
Colony House used to be called “Caleb,” named after the lead singer, Caleb Chapman. Does the last name sound familiar? Yeah, he and the drummer, Will Franklin Chapman, are Steven Curtis Chapman’s sons. That family oozes talent.
This is one of those albums that I could listen to on repeat for hours. In fact, I did that yesterday, and I hope you do too.
I really began to listen to the lyrics on songs like Won’t Give Up, and I welled up with tears. I’m almost 90% sure this is written about Will Franklin’s accident.
For those who didn’t know: a few years ago, Will Franklin Chapman unintentionally and accidentally ran over his younger adopted sister in a freak incident when he was leaving the driveway one day.
Here’s the bridge:
Wow once again. They’ve tapped into it too, writing about their personal struggles, both in life and faith, and how they’re living it all out. The rawness in the lyrics just gives me chills thinking about it.
Blast from the past. Copeland, after about a 5 or so year hiatus, is back with a heavy hitting follow up to You Are My Sunshine. While they released Ixora in November, the band released Ixora Twin, a complementary album that is meant to be played in tandem with the original.
I cheated and went into Logic and combined the albums so I can listen to them in one file, one track panned to the left and one track panned to the right. Holy moley. It is so good.
With songs like Have I Always Loved You?, this band has done what the other two have done: tapped into personal struggles and sang about how they live this out. I’m pretty sure that song is written about the lead singer’s wife dying, but I haven’t done much research.
So, what’s the common thread running through these three bands?
They’re transparent about their struggles. They don’t skimp on the dirty details that bring them down. They’re real and honest and open.
And it inspires us. It hits us at our core, because someone thought that his/her listeners were important enough to know the tough stuff.
May I be a person who writes music, who writes blogs, who writes anything with authenticity and transparency.
What music have you been listening to that you can’t turn off?