BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#885 - "Walking on Water" by NEEDTOBREATHE
NEEDTOBREATHE's Josh Lovelace shares how this standout track from their 'Hardcuts' EP is extending hope to those who have lost everything.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #885 -
Posted: January 11, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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South Carolina's Grammy Nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me twelve years ago with their major label debut Daylight, which featured the single "Shine On." Since then, the band has somehow managed to improve with each album, rising fast to widespread stardom with late night television appearances, a tour with Taylor Swift and a collaboration with Gavin DeGraw on the hit "Brother."

Something I take immense joy in discovering with each new NEEDTOBREATHE release is the incredible songwriting and musical excellence with nuggets of lyrical connection weaving their way throughout the tracks. In their album H A R D L O V E, my Top Album of 2016, the band subtly includes the reference to the "dance" of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE." 

As shared in their press release, "Originally released this summer on their recent EP HARD CUTS: Songs from the H A R D L O V E Sessions, NEEDTOBREATHE decided 'WALKING ON WATER,' co-written by Matt Maher, could be better served as an opportunity to help others in this time of need. In collaboration with their label, Atlantic Records, the band announced that 100% of the proceeds from 'WALKING ON WATER,' including single sales, streaming revenue and licensing fees, will be going to Dream Center Network in partnership with OneWorld Health to benefit victims of the recent hurricanes impacting the United States." I had the great opportunity to interview Josh Lovelace about "WALKING ON WATER."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This song was one of the first songs we wrote for HARD LOVE, which is kind of crazy because it's one of the last songs we've released now from those sessions. When we went into the mountain house sessions--which is what we've called them--we wanted to throw out every rule that we've ever had about going into a recording process, and we tried out some new things. 

This song was our first experiment with heavy synth and keyboard. It was never our biggest focus in a song musically before, but this song's musical bed took us on a new path for the entire album HARD LOVE. We felt that this song stood on its own and would be better to release later after the album came out, so we released it on the HARD CUTS EP, which are really some of our favorite songs from the whole album. Bear and Bo wrote the song with Matt Maher, and he's been a friend of the band for a long time. It means a lot to us as a band. The original demo was just a piano and acoustic guitar, and the lyrics are so powerful and they are some of my favorite lyrics of the entire project. I'm glad it's now getting attention as a song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Matthew 14:29-31 (NKJV): "So He said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" 
 
Psalm 55:22 (NIV): "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken."

What is the takeaway message?

I definitely think that in our personal lives, reminding ourselves that what we are doing is something we were led into. Leaving our families and being on the road and being away from everything to travel the world and sing songs, if it was just that, I don't believe it would be worth it. We get to do something that hopefully inspires people. 

We get to hear so many stories about how certain songs have made a difference for them and changed their lives. The fact that we get to be a part of that is incredible, and we don't take that for granted. It is hard sometimes to keep your eyes on that, and even when it is difficult, we are doing this for a higher reason. We are trying to keep looking up and not dragging our feet. I hope people hear that in the song. 

It is one of the more straightforward songs we've written for this project. It is from Peter's perspective, and it is also about us as people, looking out and looking forward. We get to play music for beautiful people every night, and they also have us feeling like we are walking on water. It's a constant reminder to keep your eyes looking ahead. 

After the hurricanes happened, we had a lot of friends who were affected, and it was devastating to see what they were going through, losing everything and even losing hope. We had a concert in the Houston area not long after the hurricane, and we announced that night that all of the proceeds of this song are going to hurricane victims to hopefully in a small way help with the restoration process. We want to love on our community. It's awesome to see how the song can have a deeper meaning, and we want to help bring hope to people who have lost hope.

Lyrics:
The wind is strong, the water is deep
My heart is heavy and my mind won't sleep
Oh can you heal, my fear it breathes
I need to know if You're the shadow I can see

I wanna run to You when the waves break through
I wanna run to You and not turn back

There's no turning back
Nothing in the past
My eyes on You again
Can't see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water

The ocean's singing, the song of grace
But if I'm honest with myself, I am still afraid

I wanna run to You when the waves break through
I'm gonna run to You and not turn back

There's no turning back
Nothing in the past
My eyes on You again
Can't see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water

I was sinking like a stone again
I was halfway in the grave and then
I looked up and saw Your face again
You pulled me out of the water, water, water

There's no turning back
Nothing in the past
My eyes on You again
Can't see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water
Though I falter
You got me walking on water, water, water
You got me walking on water, water, water, water


HARD LOVE is one of the most meaningful albums I've ever heard. I can't get the catchy melodies of many of these songs out of my head, with the perfectly produced tracks and the song order brilliantly inviting listeners to join the band on their journey. The very relatable and transparent words of these songs perfectly depict our daily walks, wrapped around catchy songs. HARD CUTS provides fans several more standout songs to add to your NEEDTOBREATHE collection. For me personally, "WALKING ON WATER" has been a great message to kick off this New Year and to remember that all it takes is a step of faith and to remember "There's no turning back, nothing in the past, my eyes on You again."

Are we spending too much time thinking about our circumstances and what we can do to improve them, or are we connecting with God's heart for us? He tells us, "Do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself, living faithfully is a large enough task for today" (Matt. 6:34, The Voice). As we start a new year, a good reminder that I've read is that God tells us 365 times in His Word "do not fear" or "do not worry," enough for a daily reminder to not spend time caught up in ourselves, but allowing ourselves to be satisfied with a fresh filling of God and His Holy Spirit. The enemy uses fear, anxiety and worry to prevent us from sharing our faith, from fixing our eyes on Jesus and from the greater things that God has in store for us as His followers. One of my resolutions for the year is to have my eyes wide open and this song, "HARD LOVE," "HAPPINESS," "TESTIFY," "Wasteland," "Difference Maker," "Slumber" and "Keep Your Eyes Open" all connect with that commitment.

This song is all about having a strong faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Sometimes we have a tendency to think we can try to know everything. God tells us in the Bible that with faith, we can do anything in Christ. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song. We can't know everything, and we are not in control, but trusting God gives us assurance that we don't have to be afraid. God will be there to pick us up when we fall. The challenge for me when I listen to this song is to pick an area of my life that I've been trying to control and instead step out and put all of my hope and trust in God. Call out to God and know: "Can't see nothing at all, but Your outstretched arms help me believe it, though I falter, You got me walking on water." Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.
 



 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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