Love & War & The Sea In Between
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Profoundly reverent with a mystical tinge, Josh Garrels’ sixth album is the work of a spiritual pilgrim seeking hope amidst a landscape of human conflict and oppression. Love & War & The Sea In Between is the most fully-realized work yet from this gifted singer/songwriter, deeply Christian in its message yet accessible to a wider audience thanks to its bold mix of acoustic, orchestral and electronica sounds. Garrels’ vocals — wooly-textured, with an eerie upper range — are at the center of the album’s swirling, multi-faceted arrangements, giving his vividly prophetic lyrics a visceral power. The promise of salvation from the cruelties of the world lends a cinematic sweep to tracks like “The Resistance,” “Rise” and “Revelator; “Ulysses” and “Slip Away” frame themes of alienation and betrayal in more personal but no less compelling terms. From the silken, evocative groove of “White Owl” to the dreamy folk balladry of “Beyond the Blue,” Garrels ranges far sonically yet never loses direction. Love & War & The Sea In Between captures the struggle between faith and fear with poetic insight and musical grandeur.
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Garrels spent more than a year working on this his seventh album. Christianity Today magazine named "Love & War & The Sea in Between" its album of the year in 2012. Garrels lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and three young children.
Garrels' music refreshes, revitalizes, and challenges.
My husband stumbled upon Garrels earlier this year, and we both were instantly fascinated by him. The sound of his voice, so unique and instantly recognizable on the radio, stands out among a sea of artists who all sound the same, who all sing the same kind of lyrics over and over. Garrels doesn't hide his faith; this is a CD based on his love for Jesus Christ, and his songs reflect the freedom, redemption, and hardships a human faces throughout life. They are the very essence of a man striving for something more in life, to not be satisfied by earthly things or desires, but to find the connection between the created and the Creator.
The music is haunting, ethereal, and like nothing else I have ever heard. He gives the instruments their own voices, their own stories, and they somehow connect to us.
I cannot say anything more upstanding about him; here is sheer talent, here is someone who is glorifying something greater than himself, who has his finger on the very pulse of humanity and that shines through his lyrics and music.
For that, he is my best discovery of 2012.