Giants & Pilgrims new album, Becoming, provides a soundtrack for jaded hearts who dare to pick-up the parts and rebuild again.
There’s something deeply encouraging about the confrontation in the introductory track, Boxing Shadows. It leads with:
You won the war
and now you’re wondering how you’re so alone…
You’re boxing shadows
You’re not the hero — of great renown
There’s room to grow
The tone of hope transcends despair. It transforms confrontation into encouragement what could otherwise be deriding judgement. A cacophony of strings stride-out the twisting blend of somber melancholy and ear-to-ear optimism.
The next track, Elixirs, got captured by young daughters of the front-couple, Tim and Betony Coons in this music video.
This joyous expression of family adventure, struggle, and the best things in life came through over a year-full of seasons and growth. All of these themes come through this longing and reveling in living wholeheartedly:
I’m thinking of drinking from the fountain
I’m coming into you
I’m coming-on down from the mountain
I’ve been waiting for the truth.
Ghosts for Tinder, exposes Giants and Pilgrims’ greatest influences such as, Hall & Oates and Brooks & Dunn. Becoming reminds us what it’s like to dig up good roods and plant deeper seeds for our children. Big Sister on the Toy Phone may be a little on-the-nose with the Coons’ oldest daughter literally playing on a toy phone and saying “Hello, is anybody there?” But it’s honest expressions of family step from the couple’s consistent emphasis of including their children in their acts of creation. It’s an interesting recovery from the artistic non-inclusive parenting of yesteryear, and it should be praised for staying honest and illustrative of how to build for the future even when our little ones are too young for finesse.
Sunrise Sunrise Sunrise and Dust to Dust invite listeners into their own mortality with themes of longevity, legacy, and cherishing that which is worth holding onto. For parents, this could be the kind of material that encourages locking-away of the simplest of memories: letting your daughter taste dinner on a wooden spoon while it’s still on the stove. Reveling in the joy of coming home at the end of a long day of work and barely being able to stand because of the small arms wrapped around your legs. Or maybe just the knowing glances between you and a loved one over the steam of a warm beverage. These moments don’t seem like life-long memories perhaps when they’re happening, but Becoming reminds us to relish in them.
You Seem Yourself thrusts you into the muted-and-distorted-horn-driven beat of repentant joy. There’s a story of brokenness and self-forgiveness in there somewhere just below the surface. The song transforms into a chunky beat that will provoke the most childlike of us to dance:
What will it take
to wash it out
to turn your head
to move along?
What will it take
to let it go
to leave the past
to pay the toll?
I Have Waited for You wraps the album up in the beauty of lifting up wounded loved ones and reconciling them into the fullness of life. It’s in this beauty-with-ashes reanimation that concludes the heart and tone of this multi-instrumental album. You could easily call this track a song of praise and adoration. But it’s not the last track on Becoming. That honor comes to the trumpet-and-drum-track invitation, Will You Stay.
The lyrics end in a question, “Will you stay or will you keep going?” Then it trails off. We’re left by the the joyful sounds of family-time and little girls singing.