On a day of heavily anticipated new releases, The Glorious Unseen’s sophomore project, The Hope That Lies In You (BEC Recordings) could easily be overlooked, which is precisely why Backseat Writer is choosing to highlight this amazing album. The Glorious Unseen’s music can technically be defined as worship, but it doesn’t let loose with the same lame hooks and rhythms. Lead singer Ben Crist makes sure to provide original material with heartfelt lyrics that rightly reflect upon God’s glory. Plus, The Glorious Unseen’s musical component is intriguing, sometimes melancholy, but always fresh. Because he’s awesome, Ben kindly agreed to “Take 5” with Backseat Writer.
The Glorious Unseen isn’t like most worship bands I’ve heard. What makes your band fresh and unique?
The thing I always hear from people is that it’s the lyrics that primarily set it apart from other stuff. There’s just a real vulnerability and honesty in the lyrics. I’m just writing from my personal experiences. I’m not exactly trying to write worship songs – but that’s usually how it turns out. I’m just putting myself into my art, and wanting to convey what’s on my heart. The lyrics definitely set it apart from most modern worship. The music does as well for sure; it’s all around pretty unique. For this reason, it has taken a bit longer to really “catch on” in that Christian market – because it is so unique. But it is definitely filling the void in the Christian music scene, so I feel that it will continue to gain momentum.
Tell me about the album’s title track, “The Hope That Lies In You.” What’s the underlying message of this song? And is it the message that runs through the entire album? (Side note: Whenever I listen to this song, tears well up in my eyes. I love it.)
Yes, this is the overall message of the whole album – that despite what is going on in the world around us, there is a hope that lies within each one of us – and mainly in God. We don’t have any hope in ourselves apart from God. So, with God, there is a hope that lies within us – through God. This is kind of a “battle-cry” to modern day Christians that may be struggling with apathy and depression. We need to get up and go out and have an impact. We need to be reminded of this hope we have in Christ. No more sitting around and being depressed – time for action.
The album’s first single, “Heavyhearted,” talks about God’s grace in the midst of wandering and shame. Would you please share about a time when you’ve felt heavyhearted and how you worked through it?
Ummm – today? Yesterday? Every day? Haha. Yeah, I mean there are times every day where I’m struggling with some feelings of being disconnected from God’s presence. Certainly, there are times when I feel this more than other times, but really, the deal is that God wants to pour our His love for me at every moment. He always wants to take me back in the midst of my struggle – in the midst of my shame – He wants to call me back to him right now!!! Even as I am typing this, He is calling me to his heart!! He is constant; he has no end. His love is totally huge and bigger than anything we have ever experienced.
There are so many amazing songs on The Hope That Lies In You. Tell me about a couple of your faves, please!
It’s hard to pull one out right now because they’re all so new and exciting to sing right now!! I’m so stoked to start playing “Falling Into You,” “We Can Be Renewed,” and “Awakening.” Man, I can’t wait to sing those lyrics. They’re even more honest than the lyrics on the last record. People have told me that the new lyrics are more serious even then the last record. I’m so stoked to get into those songs. It’s gonna be intense. There are some hardcore issues that we are dealing with in these new lyric–depression, separation, addiction, hope, pain, spiritual warfare. I expect these shows coming up to be intense.
Let’s move on to a lighter question—what’s one of the funniest things that happened while you were recording this album?
Hmmm… Probably the appearance of Trevor “The Phoenix” Mitchell. If you don’t know what that is – go watch our studio video blog. That’s one of our producer’s pseudo personalities.