The question occasionally arises as to why there are posts about contemporary Christian music on a conservative news website. The answer is the news. We are inundated daily with stories of satanic-level evil, such as what happened earlier this week in Waukesha. We are confronted daily by lying liars in government and the media enabling their lying. The t-shirt floating around bearing the inscription “y’all need Jesus” may be intended to be humorous, but it is also true. We do need Jesus. Each of us. This is why you see stories here at RedState about musicians proclaiming the truths about Christ to a hurting, dying world. With this in mind, a look at Bringing Home.
Bringing Home is the Norris City, Illinois-based husband and wife team of Jared and Amber Russell. The Russells have been married for 11 years and have three daughters. Their day job is professional painters; in their own words, “Everything interior and exterior, both commercial and residential.” Business is good.
A bit more background. The Russells, one of the more ridiculously good-looking couples one could run across, met in high school in Fairfield, Illinois. Jared accepted Christ at age seven. Amber became a believer while in junior high school. As she recalls, “I was drawn to the Lord after seeing my mother go through a painful divorce. Seeing her change her life, and begin to seek God and heal from her pain, made me want to find God myself. I was raised in the church but never had a relationship with Christ until then.”
Jared’s best friend was Amber’s brother, which is how they met. After a year of Jared asking Amber out and her demurring, she finally agreed to start dating the persistent Jared in August 2007. Things progressed, and they married in April of 2010.
The Russell’s music draws on influences such as Coldplay and OneRepublic without being a copy. The two started working on music together while still dating. Amber notes, “My interest in music began with writing poetry. I have always had a love for writing. When I was a little girl, I would sing and make up songs. I would invite people from around my neighborhood and put on shows for them with my karaoke machine. When Jared and I got together, we began to turn my poems into songs.”
Jared adds, “I have always had a passion for music. It wasn’t until my high school career that I delved into composition and writing. I started by doing compositions and writing for others, then branched into doing my own.”
Although in Christian music, Bringing Home is not part of the stock issue praise and worship formula that presently dominates the genre. An example:
Amber comments, “Our goal is to create music that is different and set apart from mainstream Christian music. After going through some really hard times as a Christian and battling things that the Christian music industry doesn’t bring light to, I wanted to write songs about real things that are hard to talk about; in hopes to let someone else know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through.”
Jared’s take: “Songs I heard at a young age brought hope and a light to me in my times of trouble. I wanted to emulate the same for others. Lyrically, our main goal is to spread the hope and gospel of Christ. That He came to give us life and save us from ourselves. Our secondary goal, lyrically, is to always talk about the hard things and be specific; because no one will ever be set free unless the whole truth is brought to light. Musically, we strive to never fall into the musical rut of playing the same thing everyone else plays.”
Amber finishes by adding, “We believe the music and lyrics go hand in hand. Powerful lyrics need powerful melodies to support it.”
Bringing Home’s new song, “To The Ones,” which leads off the latest episode of Cephas Hour, directly addresses hurting people. Jared starts, “My sister came to us one day with a line. ‘This goes out to the broken ones, the lonely ones, the hurting ones.’ The lines immediately resonated with us. The song stands apart from our other material because it is a song that speaks of the innermost place in all of our hearts. Every day we go out our door and put a face on for the world to see. All our hurt and pain is masked from everyone, but God says, ‘I see you,’ and He understands what we’re going through when no one else does.”
Amber completes the observation. “The lyrics for this song were written from a place of my own anxiety. There were times that I felt like no one but God understood me. I wanted to write a song to remind people dealing with the same thing that they are never alone.”
In a world addicted to madness and all too often a flaccid response by the church, we need all the Bringing Home we can get.