Eric Marshall: Well, the lows always seem to come right when we're about to record a record. The week we went in to make our Advent record years ago, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and knocked the city on its heels for weeks and weeks. We recorded that whole record without heat in the building. During the first week of tracking I Must Find You, we got news that my wife's mother had died unexpectedly which set the whole album on a different course. This year, we were set to track You Are Fullness the week after the whole world shut down for COVID-19 and had to scrap the whole session. So, we've gotten used to working under less than ideal conditions. But, the highs have come in the midst of all that. There's something about this music and the process of making it that is resonating with people. For me, it's always a highlight to learn that even one person is touched by the art we're making.
Eric: I had planned to make this new album the most 'live' recording to date. So, when we learned that the COVID lockdown was gonna keep us all from traveling, let alone making a record in the same studio together, it was quite a surprise. But, I'm so glad we went forward with it. We ended up recording all the parts remotely, spread out over the country. And I think we got something unique in the process.
Eric: The phrase 'You Are Fullness' is taken from St. Augustine's Confessions. Each of these new songs is an intimate prayer. In the past, I've created something more like concept albums, where each song plays its small part in the larger arc. But this is really more of a collection of love poems, directly oriented to God.
Eric: I am in the Psalms daily. And I'm always finding new things. Things I've not seen before. To me, there is no better source for worshippers, seekers, [and] poets. Psalm 23, 90, 139, 40, 46... sometimes even the number itself reminds me of the incredible poetry and sharpness of these ancient prayers.
Eric: I listen mostly to the kind of stuff my dad grew up with, and the kind of bands and artists that live in that tradition. Some of my favorites are artists like Dylan, The Beatles, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Otis Redding, Pink Floyd. New stuff like Radiohead, Mason Jennings, Sufjan Stevens, Phoebe Bridgers. Sometimes, I put on a Beatles song and the beauty and immediacy of it makes my cry. How did they achieve that? I want to achieve that.
Eric: I don't know if it is different, but I prefer to call it 'prayer music.' The names we give things usually feel innocuous at first, but over time they take on a meaning of their own... usually different from the original intent. I've noticed that when you say the words 'worship music,' many people in the west call to mind a huge megachurch stage with fog and lights and young, beautiful, swaying people in hats. It's gotten kind of silly. So I call what I make 'prayer music.'
Eric: Well, I love full-length albums. But with barrage of media we all encounter daily, it's just not feasible to drop an album without any lead up and hope that people find it, or even notice it. So I've learned to make peace with it all. It's honestly been fun to feature one song at a time and let folks marinate on it for a while.
Eric: Almost two millennia ago, the apostle Paul spoke to the people of Athens, Greece. He said that, "[God] is actually not far from each one of us, for 'in Him we live and move and have our being'. He went on to declare the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people. It says that some believed and some mocked. I want to be a person that believes. And I wanted this song to be an encouragement to all people about God's nearness.
Eric: Well, I'm writing new songs, always thinking about what's next. But who knows? We might do a VOICES Volume 2, might do another concept record. Maybe it's time to see what a pop record would sound like for Young Oceans. I'm trying to be more childlike, more free as the years stack up.
Eric: Just that it's an honor to share these little songs with folks. It's my favorite thing in the world to create and to swim in the mysteries of our Lord and Creator.
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