My favorite singer/songewriter is a fellow preacher’s-kid by the name of Andrew Peterson. His songs about faith with their insightful lyrics, soft acoustic style and passion for Jesus, have informed my faith for the past decade.
I have never met the man, but I think of him as a friend. One who has chided and goaded and lead me to a deeper understanding of my faith and of the human condition in general. He has made me laugh, brought a tear to my eye, and sung what I wanted to say better than I could say it.
So I am excitedly looking forward to the release of his new studio album, Light for the Lost Boy, at the end of August. I was delighted to sign into FaceBook this morning and find that his record company has allowed him to share the cover art for the new album.
The art is by Katie Moore who has done album artwork for Ingrid Michaelson and Starfield, among others. I find the art for Andrew’s new album haunting and beautiful:
I want to go on that walk with that lost boy and his lantern. I want to breathe deep and take in the woods that surround us, feeling secure by the light of the lantern.
Most of all, I want to hear the songs that inspired this cover. August 28th cannot come fast enough.
I have this tendency to become obsessed with the things I like. I become obsessed with a certain preacher – listening to their podcasts every week, reading the books they’ve written, following them on Twitter. But I do this with other things, too. Sometimes it’s a certain movie or tv show or novel. Sometimes it’s a song.
Right now it’s a song. Right now it’s Gotye’s “Somebody that I used to know.” I first heard it on American Idol (one of my tv obsessions), and then it was covered on Glee (another obsession). I bought the single the other day and occasionally I just throw it on repeat on my laptop or in the car, and listen over and over and over and over…
Told you I was obsessed. My friend Amanda posted a cover of the song by an acapella group called Pentatonix on facebook the other day, and I absolutely love it. So I just had to share it in this post.
I think this song has caught me up for a number of reasons. First of all, most of us know what it is to have a broken relationship – romantic or friendship or even a member of our family. Most of us know what that “now you’re just somebody that I used to know” feeling is all about.
Second of all, I love that both sides of the story are presented in the song. First you get the guy, who is clearly bitter and still hurting. But then a female voice comes in and reminds you that there are two sides to every story. I like that. It is true, and it pushes the song beyond your average “bitter break-up” song into something more conversational and more real.
Third, I like the instrumentation on Gotye’s version of the song. It’s slightly off-centre. The xylophone and the other percussion gives the song a sense of whimsy that contrasts beautifully with raw anger and bitterness of the lyrics and vocals.
Sometimes in the world of church, we categorize music: that which is worship and that which is secular. But I have always believed that there isn’t a really clear line between the two. God has given us the gift of being capable of making and enjoying music. I believe that any time that gift is used (in a way that doesn’t cause harm), God is honored and worship occurs.
So today I am thankful for the God-given gift of music.