Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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Day 11: "thegodmachine: The Rider"

Lyrics: "Trapped in the trenches/overrun by idols/we’ve strapped pride to our bones and sealed it with our skin/looking for a way to beat this system/we’re trading life for a corpse/entangled with the dead and silenced by our guilt/we’ve strapped pride to our bones and sealed it with our skin/i’ve encased myself in a tomb/with gods as dead as me/surrounded by stones of depravity/i’m already dead/and i’m running out of answers out running all the answers/we want more/every failure leaves me deeper in the ground/show me what i’ve become/hanging skulls on my branches/waist below the earth/i was a fool of lust since the day of my birth/oh my love i haven’t let you go/golden skies will divide to receive your soul/oh my son you’ve just begun to grow/but we’ve strapped pride to our bones and sealed it with our skin/turn this tomb to dust/oh my God You never let me go/as lifeless as statues/as fleeting as dust in the air/we’ve robbed your splendor and replaced it with deceit/replaced with ruin/show us what you see/grace come swiftly/oh God give us rest in you/like the waves upon the shore/we can’t hear you in our hearts anymore/grace come swiftly and drag the axe further towards me/the Son of man approaches the hollows/He breaks the guilt in one fell swoop/beheading our treachery/oh God would you bring a burning downpour of Your… blood/i can hear the hordes of ghosts screaming in Your choir/but would Your love make any difference in a graveyard/there’s no running now/His thunder shakes the earth/there will be no trace of betrayal/all creation trembles before You/as You lift Your hand/Your will be done"

Explanation: The final full song on “thegodmachine” is about God’s perfect and just judgment upon our hearts. The concept is that we are a garden but have become rooted in our idols, thus stealing God’s glory and putting it into our fake gods. I’m not just talking about the Old Testament “golden calf.” I’m talking about money, sex, vanity, or anything that you seek validation from or for. We are too prideful to understand the importance of not putting ourselves higher than God. The choruses are sung to us from God’s point of view. In this song he sees us as little saplings that are being strangled by the weeds we’ve surrounded ourselves with. In God’s eyes, we have turned the garden into a tomb/graveyard rather than fulfill the true purpose he has given us. The chorus is about him uprooting us from our devils and redeeming us with life. The ending of “The Rider” is from my perspective as a deformedly growing seed asking for judgment day because I cannot reconcile what I have become when I realize that the creator of the heavens has been pursuing me my entire life and I have denied him. The last couple of lines are more of an image I dreamt of: the entire world watching in fear as God lifts his hand high as if he is preparing to bring it down upon us and wipe earth’s slate clean. This song is one of my favorites off of the album because of the almost apocalyptic theme it hints towards and that no matter how messed up we are, God pursues us to the ends of the earth. I believe that Christ has the power to raise the dead, to break guilt and addiction, and to completely make beautiful what we have destroyed.

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