Musician pours out soul in lyrics inspired by religion and politics

An abrupt lyrical volcano comes flowing out with lava consisting of social injustice and spiritual doubts. With hot pains bursting through, solo singer and song writer, David Bazan, sang his viewpoint of religion and social politics at a campus concert.

Former band member of Pedro the Lion, Bazan is an indie rock musician with hit albums titled Curse Your Branches and Strange Negotiations. Even though he is not technically classified as a Christian artist, Bazan writes about the spiritual journey and deep theological struggles Christians face today.

With soulful songs that penetrate deep and resonate with young amateur artists today, the singer, whether he knows it or not, is inspiring up-and-coming lyricists.

Associate Professor and department chair of music Dr. Mark Humphrey is a believer and is impressed with Bazan, who commits to telling his truth in a deep and powerful way.

Humphrey said, “No matter what angle he approaches  … from, I always know that his lyrics are going to be thoughtful. He’s going to approach it. He’s not just going to throw things out. He’s going to think things through.”

The concert started with the artist playing two songs. With a combination of sweet melody and piercing words, the music is hard to swallow.  Each lyrical bite had to be taken one by one.

After Bazan’s performance, there was a Q-and-A interview done by Humphrey. Through the questions, the audience learned of the singer’s struggles of being raised by evangelical parents and slowly walking away from his faith as he progressively matured into an adult.

Even though it was a grieving point, he still holds Christianity near and dear to his heart because it was a part of his childhood.

He said, “I still feel a kinship with these people. I care for what happens in that world.”

As music fans and interested listeners hear his songs, they notice a common thread that brings the whole message together.

Bazan said he “aims to set the imbalance of justice in society…. We’re trying to tell the truth about something, and that’s provocative.”

One of the many strange things Bazan noticed is the attention he receives from the Christian audience. Christianity Today magazine named Curse Your Branches as one of the best Christian records in 2009.

Junior church music major Jonathan Mayo entered the session knowing only a few things about Bazan but walked away with a better understanding of writing lyrics.

He said the event “gave a deeper meaning when writing songs….You can have that little snippet of something that you really love, and you can turn it into that song that has deep meaning.”


Author: Natasha Christian

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