Hello there, a while ago i promised a bit of a blog about the new Foy Vance album. It's called 'Hope' and was released in the UK at the start of July. If you are not familiar with Foy's music then your life is less fulfilled as a result! He is one of those artists whose music will touch you to the depths of your soul with a combination of his emotive, real-life song writing and powerful vocals. Not only that but he is a local Christian guy hailing from Bangor - so go on, buy it!
On my travels this summer i spent a lot of time listening the new album and i think it is fantastic. So i thought i'd just highlight 3 songs that particularly caught me:
1. I Was Made. This seems to be a song about Foy's encounter with God. The song begins with an expression of his lifestyle before he met God - 'i didn't know what i was missing'. Then God finds him and he professes:
i came round to all the truths i found
i threw down all of the chains that bound me
i was made for loving you
He goes on to make reference to Christ's suffering for our sins:
i left you hanging all alone
threw my stench upon your throne
after all that you'd been through
'I was made for loving you' - great truth within a beautiful song.
2. Indiscriminate Act of Kindness. This is probably Foy's most well known song and i have heard it hundreds of times before but as i listened to it on a bus one day on my travels, there was a particular line that just grabbed me and challenged me deeply. The song is about a one man's kindness in a random encounter with a down and out drug addicted woman. The line that got me is when the woman asks:
how is it you can see past me as i am?
Surely as Christians we are called to see past people as they are but the sad reality is that many don't. Ive worked with lots of young people over the last few years and when i ask them what they think of church people, more often than not the answer will be 'they don't like us' or 'they think they are better than us'. Just a few weeks ago i was chatting with some of the local young people and this question arose and one guy said something that really struck and chord with me:
'they [meaning church people] see us drinking [alcohol] and just think we are bad people.'
How sad, that often Christians are not defined and known for their ability to accept and 'see past people as they are'.
3. Two Shades of Hope. Hope is a word that is woven throughout this album - hence the title i guess. 'Gabriel & the Vagabond' speaks of the 'gentle whisper of hope' that leads to life transformation - again referencing a God encounter. 'Hope, Peace & Love' is a simple song that has echoes of 1 Corinthians 13. 'Two Shades of Hope' however attempts to portray the harsher side of hope. He opens by explaining the two shades: 'the enlightening kind', covered in the above songs, and; the other which he likens to a 'hang man's rope'. He goes on to share some real life stories including a loveless broken relationship and a lost battle with cancer where on each occasion 'it was hope that dealt the hardest blows'. His conclusion? Despite the pain and despair that comes within relationships, he still has the realisation that:
'i cannot help myself but hope.'
A moving song that i'm sure we can all relate to in some degree.
I can't endorse the album to you enough - you will not be dissapointed! On top of that he has a few gigs coming up at the end of the month at the Black Box that would be worth checking out. Foy Vance has yet to attract mass attention which means it is still possible to see him in small intimate venues at little cost (£10) but this is could change very soon, so take the opportunity while you can!