Thursday, September 26, 2013

Containing this great treasure...

A few songs for Thursday :)

Gungor released their new album this week (yippee!)
I have to admit, I'm still warming up to it.  I got a handful of songs, and they're good.
I just still regard Ghosts Upon the Earth as one of the most incredible albums...
So it's kind of hard for me to move on with the band.

That being said... there are some great songs including the title track:

"I am Mountain" (the single) picks up on the themes of "Beautiful Things."  
The premise is the unity of creation.
God used the same building blocks for mountains, stars, and people.
Homo sapiens are unique due to God's life-breathed power,
but we are made of common, mortal elements just the same.
This song (and music video) are a refreshing reminder
that we are both common and glorious:

I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There's glory in the dirt
A universe within the sand
Eternity within a man

We are ocean, we are mist
Brilliant fools who wound and kiss
There's beauty in the dirt
Wandering in skin and soul
Searching, longing for a home...

Momentary carbon stories
From the ashes
Filled with holy ghost
Life is here now
Breathe it all in
Let it all go
You are earth and wind

Along a similar theme, another favorite artist, Sleeping at Last released another EP last week.
Just to (re?)explain, "Sleeping at Last" is now a one-man band comprised of: Ryan O'Neil.
He writes all the the songs and plays and sings 90%+ of everything he produces.
(You may have just heard his instrumental "Households"
on Kid President's breakout video.)
This year, he's taken upon a year-long music project entitled "Atlas."
It's basically a 4-part musical exploration of creation.
He has/will release an EP every quarter.
He started with Darkness, moved on to Light, and just released Space 1, to be followed by Space 2.
It may sound like a very rigid way to produce music,
but his self-enforced discipline has provided a springboard to some incredible music.
Space 1 examines "Sun," "Mercury," "Venus," "Earth," "Moon" (a stunning instrumental!) and "Mars."
[The EP can currently be streamed here.]
The follow up will cover the rest of the planets.
Be of good cheer. I think Pluto will even be included :)
[You can read more about his project here and here]
As a side note, this album carries a lot of the same threads as "I am Mountain."
"Sun" emphasizes:
We are the dust of dust.
We are the apple of God’s eye.
We are infinite as the universe we hold inside.
I think there is a yearning in God's people to move a place of awareness and humility.
A posture that says, "Yes, we are special,
but only because of a gift from Father."
Because then, there are no outsiders.
There are no special clubs.
[Ok, ending a rant before I get started]
Needless to say... it's an interesting and inspiring view of our relationship to the World.

The song is currently gripping me is "Mercury."
Mercury is the type of song that makes you want to hold your breath and turn it up.
It's like you don't want to miss a single word or note.
The song is musically and lyrically gorgeous by itself, 
but even more so for O'Neal's musical decisions.
As he explains, "For a planet 70% metallic, it felt fitting to only use metallic instruments on this song (except for my voice, of course, which is made of human)."
Here is the song and the lyrics interspersed with some [commentary]:

rows of houses,
sound asleep.
only street lights
notice me.

i am desperate,
if nothing else,
in a holding pattern
to find myself.*
[*a theme running throughout the song
a need for clarity of vision -
something I am definitely seeking]

i talk in circles,
i talk in circles,
i watch for signals,
for a clue.*

how to feel different.
how to feel new.
like science fiction
bending truth.

no one can unring this bell, [Magicians Nephew?]
unsound this alarm, unbreak my heart new.
God knows, i am dissonance
waiting to be swiftly pulled into tune.*

i’ll go anywhere you want,
anywhere you want,
anywhere you want me.
[Ever been so desperate you say,
"God, just tell me where and I'll go!"]

i know the further i go,
the harder i try, only keeps my eyes closed.
and somehow i’ve fallen in love
with this middle ground at the cost of my soul.
yet i know, if i stepped aside,
released the controls, you would open my eyes.
that somehow, all of this mess
is just an attempt to know the worth of my life…*

…made of precious metals,
precious metals,
precious metals inside.

i’ll go anywhere you want me.

["We now have this light shining in our hearts,
but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars
containing this great treasure.
This makes it clear that our great power
is from God, not from ourselves." - II Cor. 4:7]

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, Mercury!!! SO good! I REALLY need to invest in getting his music!