A week ago I’d never heard of Josh Garrels, but after seeing 1001 people chattering on Facebook about his new record, Love & War & the Sea in Between, I gave in to peer pressure and investigated. I have to admit that the first thing that won me over was the design on the album cover. I’m a nerd for great typography, I’m afraid. Then I started listening to the music–and I just can’t stop. Listen to this song and you’ll see why. Enjoy.
“Beyond the Blue” by Josh Garrels
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.
Josh Garrels is the man. So glad the Rabbit Room discovered him. He also really understands the creative process. Check out this quote: “In a media-saturated pop culture society where ‘stars’ are the royalty to be worshiped or fawned over, I believe the true role of artists is to serve others with their creations. That means to draw people to fullness of life through revelation, longing, breakthroughs, simple beauty, and unpretentious truths. Artists help people see the obvious, the heart of the matter, and from this regained perspective people become more fully human. So much art these days has people focusing on an unattainable fantasy, lusting over what they’ll never have unless they take it by force or by way of money or libido. This is all candy, and candy can’t make a man healthy.”
I got linked to him recently (Noisetrade) and they also linked Mason Jar Music. I like the concept of preserving analog in a digital age.
I’ve been enjoying Josh and MGM for about 3 days now.
I’m a lyrics nerd. Whenever I find a new music artist, I go read a bunch of lyrics before I listen to the album.
Anyway, here’s a link to some of Josh’s lyrics, if anyone else has that disease. Several of these stand alone as poetry, which is encouraging.
Man, I’m sort of excited about this, because I’ve been secretly listening to The Great Lake Swimmers and maMuse for a while, wishing someone would run in that artistic vein with a faith center that jived closer with mine.
Ooh…thanks, Pete! I’ve not heard of Josh Garrels, but I’m excited to hear more. This song is a bit addictive!
I keep playing that one over and over, too! We have really enjoyed this album as our first real exposure to Josh Garrels. Here are some fun letters he wrote as a guest on one of my favorite blogs. http://www.todaysletters.com/2011/05/letters-from-josh-garrels.html
As a fan of Josh’s for several years now, I cannot say enough about this whole experience with LaWaTSI. Josh hearing from God that this album, his most expense one, is going to be freely given away. Unheard of.
Then the music. The best way to describe it is each song is richly melodic, and thoughtful
Josh Garrels is a genre of himself.
Also check out the video for White Owl
I saw his name on Noisetrade but hadn’t checked it out yet… this was the final push I needed. Just downloaded and listening now. I’m liking this! Thanks.
I’ve been a Josh Garrells fan for several years now, so glad to see the rabbit room has jumped on board this funky ship.
Thanks for spreading the word Pete! Garrels’ music has been completely interwoven with my growth in faith for the past few years. I named my blog after one of his songs, haha. His music was so organic and real when I first heard it (Underquiet album) and it has matured and grown into the stellar album that is this new project. Its been great to grow in Christ with Josh’s music as a theme song, and I’m SO glad its reaching such a wide audience with this album. Please, enjoy, brothers and sisters. “…So give it just a little time, share some bread and wine, weave your heart into mine…”
I discovered him via a Christianity Today review of the new album, two weeks ago. I bought Jacaranda in preparation for the new album, and kept listening to it over and over… until the new album came out. I keep urging everyone I know to get the album–IT’S FREE, for pete’s sake! One little cool thing about the songs that I haven’t seen elsewhere–somehow the lyrics are embedded in the MP3 files, so they display on my iPod Touch as the songs play. I’m a lyrics nerd, too, so it was cool to discover that they’re right there while it’s playing. Even though I’m a new fan of his music, I’m tickled pink to see him trumpeted here.
@Chris Yokel: Can you provide a URL for the quote you gave above?
Wow… I’ve been wondering how there seemed to be no link between Josh Garrels and The Rabbit Room. I guess it was only a matter of time.
This new album is great, though I’m still obsessed with Josh’s previous 3. If you haven’t heard “Zion & Babylon” (from his “Jacaranda” album) and “Sweet River Roll” (from “Over Oceans”) then prepare yourself to be overcome with righteous pleasure. “Indiana Sky” (from “Lost Animals”) is also incredible.
Thank you for the link to the White Owl video. It was such a treat! Totally reminded me of The Secret of Kells. Very stunning!
Becca…I have that lyric-lovin’ disease as well:) Thanks for the link! Can’t wait to spend time with them.
And we are loving this album! Thanks, Pete!
It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who just heard of Josh last week! When I listened to the first song, “White Owl,” I was struck by beauty of the music and lyrics, and thought it fit well with Rabbit Room heart…and now it’s here, too 🙂 .
Brian, I’m actually not sure of the exact URL. I myself found it on my own blog from a year ago, but I don’t remember where I found it.
Josh’s “Zion & Babyon” is a powerful reclamation of what the gospel was always supposed to mean, and a helpful backdrop for understanding the Old Testament in light of Christ. He’s been on my short list of favorite Christian artists with AP, Ben Shive, Sara Groves, and Andy Gullahorn for several years. If you’re new to his music, take your time and dive into each album one at a time. Be prepared for a rich gift.
I too was sucked in by the incredible cover art. Then the music sucked me in quickly thereafter. Good stuff.
Brian, here’s a URL with the quote Chris referenced: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JoshGarrels
For Christmas 2009 a dear friend gave me “Lost Animals” with a post-it note that read: to encourage new songs every morning. And how his lyrics, the movement of the melodies do! I’ve not only been an admirer of his musicality, but of the way in which he speaks of faith and how it challenges my thoughts and heart as well. May those who check out his songs discover new songs of praise as well…
Here’s another nugget of beauty: the artwork on “Jacaranda” album was done by Gala Bent, who just happens to be his sister. (I don’t believe she crafted the artwork for this album, however.) What fun!
This album is so awesome. . .great lyrics, great music. He covers so many styles and genres it is just mindbending. If you haven’t listened, check it out. Also, check out the album by Garrels entitled “Jacaranda”. Terrific listen, especially “Zion & Babylon”.
Another thing that I’m enjoying about this album is the flexibility of his voice. On Beyond the Blue, I hear Bruce Springsteen. Elsewhere I hear Tracy Chapman, Prince, Jon Anderson (of Yes)… It’s a lot of fun to listen to.
As the Scriptures are solid food, Josh Garrels’ lyrics are vitamins helping my spirit to ingest the Words of Life in new ways. As an aspiring and desiring disciple of the Lord Jesus for nearly 30 years, God has lately been using the music of Josh Garrels and Andrew Peterson, and the writings of George MacDonald to set my sights and my feet on new heights. Consider the following from “Rise” by Josh Garrels:
“Take courage sons, for we must go under
The heart of darkness, and set them free
But don’t lose heart when you see the numbers
There’s no measure for, the faith we bring
It’s given us, to overcome
If we run, where the spirit calls us on
The greatest things, have yet to come
With the dawn, we will rise”
What a calling…what a voice…
I too, just discovered Josh Garrels with this new album, and haven’t been able to stop playing it. The whole album has a groove that has hooked me. My favorite song is “Farther Along”. It deeply moves me! Now I have to investigate his older albums as many of you have suggested.
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