Song of the Day: Josh Garrels


Josh Garrels’ new record, Love & War & the Sea in Between, has been steadily blowing my mind since I first downloaded it last month. I just can’t stop listening to it. It’s heartbreaking, invigorating, beautiful, and hopeful. I really can’t say enough good things about it. And Josh is giving it away for free so there’s no excuse not to check it out. Trust me. Go download it, listen to it for a week and let it do its work on you. I think you’ll be glad you did.

This is one of the songs that just won’t leave me alone. It’s called “Farther Along” and it’s epic.

“Farther Along” by Josh Garrels

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man dies, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves ’em both
We’re all cast-aways in need of rope
Hanging on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gate
Leading mice and men down to their fate
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold, my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
Wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this all by and by

Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fighting for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
‘Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levees and my bluffs
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
‘Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the Son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom and we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
So cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this all by and by

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.


  1. Ugly Biscuit

    The song and album are truly astonishing!!! In a world of, ‘Same-Old-Same-Old’ Josh comes along and spins the musical globe on his finger like a basketball. The ramifications are like, “What the heck just hit us?”

    Eardrums, souls, hearts, minds eye’s and noose-gimples be warned!

  2. Sharon

    Every time I think I have a favorite song, along comes another song that just captures me! I’m going to be buying his other CDs as soon as financially able.

  3. CyndaP

    I downloaded this album about a month ago. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s wonderful!

  4. PaulH

    It is pretty cool Pete, that you and the Rabbit Room collective are experiencing Josh’s music. It is infectious.

  5. Matthew Benefiel

    Got it last time you mentioned it and have been passing it along. I have even began to like “the resistance” and I hate rap with a passion, but his lyrics are just awesome for the some and now I no longer skip it. I like to compare Josh to a strange and wonderful mix of Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, and Nickelcreek. That is a nice lineup, even better when you add superb christian lyrics. My favorite song on the album is “Ulysses.”

    Another interesting christian group I found on was “Sleeping at Last” (noisetrade has their “Storyboards” album which is free if you post on facebook). Though their lyrics are a bit cryptic in some cases, and I’m not always sure I agree, they are well thought out, more so on their latest Year EPs that is almost done (see their website and check out “Emphasis”).

  6. Mike

    My two favorite lines from the album so far

    “my rest is a weapon against the oppression of man’s obsession to control things” The Resistance
    “a beggar could be king within the shadows, of a wing”
    Beyond the Blue

    Yep this record gets mo betta every time I listen to it.

  7. Mark Cook

    the Biblical imagery in this song is astounding. Matthew (deadweight burden & Matthew 11) Luke (my wayward son & the parable of the prodigal son), Isaiah, Psalms, Revelation, etc. What a powerful, truth-speaking, life-giving song!

  8. Jen

    This is the song that grabbed my attention the first time I listened to the album…. Great choice! I’m so glad you pointed his music out to us.

    Matthew: “The Resistance” is one of my favorites! (and I’m not a rap fan either :)) And Sleeping at Last is so great too! Storyboards is magical. I didn’t realize it was still on Noisetrade. (That’s where I found them too.)

  9. Andrew Peterson


    I’ve gotten goosepimples several times while jogging to this record. It stirs the same waters as Rich Mullins and Switchfoot and Sara Groves: unabashed use of Scripture, great music, and I get the feeling that they really, really believe what they’re singing. It helps me to believe too. And yes, I used the word “goosepimples”.

  10. Matthew Benefiel

    Mark Cook: Don’t forget “calf loosed from its stall”. I came across the passage in the last chapter of Malachi a few weeks after I had gotten the album and listened to is a hundred times. And of course Josh took it within the context of God ultimately freeing His people from their oppression, which gives us hope even now.

    Andrew: Not to cause pride, but “Counting Stars” is up their too to the glory of God of course. It has blessed me even this morning on the way to work. You aptly named the album as it holds the gentle, calming breeze of evening, yet with a stark reminder. I find many of the songs a gentle slap, with a loving kiss to follow. I love Jon Foreman’s season EPs, well put together and thought out. (As least you didn’t say goosebumps, brings back strange memories of a kids, corny horror genre).

    And while I am it Andrew (if you read this), if the Wingfeather Saga ever goes to film, please consider Sleeping at Last’s song “Pacific” from their March EP for the scene towards the end of “Monster in the Hollows” where the Wingfeathers are in the boat. It is an instrumental that sums up so many of the emotions and the imagery just pops into my head every time I hear it (I read the book before I heard the song).

  11. Brian

    I listened to this album, Jacaranda, and Lost Animals virtually non-stop for several weeks, but at some point I had to stop. The songs were almost like really rich food, that I had just reached my limit of. The “palate cleansing” music I listened to instead was music like AP’s Counting Stars, Sara Groves’ Fireflies and Songs, and Jon Foreman’s Seasons EPs. What made them seem so cleansing was the non-affected way they sing, in contrast to Josh Garrels. The others’ singing is more like an extension of their speaking, while Josh’s singing is obviously a musical craft that couldn’t be mistaken for simple melodic speaking. Mind you, I still love all that music from all those artists, and now I can go back to Garrels’ material with a fresh “palate,” but that contrast in singing style has been decisively helpful for me at certain points.

  12. Seth H.

    The only negative comment I have for this song is that I wish Josh had put it at the end of the record, because every time I recommend it to anyone, they get to this song and just listen to it over and over again, not bothering with the rest. Which is a testament to how great the song is, but still a bit frustrating.

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