Chris August: Song by Song
Chris August returns with a new collection of songs and takes some time talking us through the inspirations behind his latest.

Posted: June 14, 2018 | By: NRTeamAdmin
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It's been three years since we've heard a new record from Chris August, and this month, we got Seasons, which follows his three previous album releases with Fervent/Word, 2010's No Far Away, The Upside of Down (2012), and 2015's The Maker. With a deep desire to get back to making music that was creative and authentic to who he is as an artist, August's new songs are full of inspiration without constraints.

"Seasons is unlike any other record I've done," explains Chris. "I didn't have a certain theme or sound in mind other than to make the music I love making. I poured my soul into every lyric and every piece of the music."

Here, Chris August takes some time to share the inspiration behind each track on his latest album, Seasons

"Nothing's Beyond Broken"
In 2010 I wrote and released a song called "7x70" about coming from a broken home. It was a song about forgiveness and healing. After my dad heard it he told me that God can take something that's broken and make it better than it was. I loved what he said so much that I would say it every night before I sang that song. I knew at some point I would take that idea and turn it into a new song. Nothing's beyond broken. 1 John 3:8 says, "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil." The original Greek is also translated as "undo the works of the devil." The goal of God undoing the works of the devil is to change me from a sinner to a son of God.

"Seasons" is a song that I wrote for my wife. I was hoping to surprise her with it, but that proved to be difficult because my studio is in our house and she heard me working on it. She still loves it though. I wrote it to remind her how much I appreciate her always being there for me and not just when it's convenient. I knew when we first met that it was the real deal. Not just a season thing.

I got the inspiration for this song while I was riding a John Deere. That's the first time I've ever written that and it made me laugh. It's true though! A favorite artist of mine is a guy named PJ Morton. His record Gumbo had just released so I decided to give it a listen while I was mowing that day. I loved it so much I kept repeating the album. I listened through it four times all the way through. The inspiration was overflowing, so I went into the studio after I got cleaned up from the mowing, of course, and I wrote "Lips." I grew up listening to R&B. Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, and the list goes on. It's the music that I feel in the deepest part of me. That's where this song comes from. On the lyrical side of the song, I wanted to confess that I've said and done some things that I shouldn't have, but that I'm giving my heart to Him and His name will always be on my lips.

"Worry" started with the acoustic guitar part you hear at the beginning of the song. After recording that and some drums for the groove, I started to work on the melody and lyric. At the time, I was going through some big transitions in my life so stress and worry were at the forefront of my mind. I needed some time to remind me that God is in control and I wasn't in this alone. It gave me the simple reminder that we know the ending to this story and no matter what season we are in, there is joy and peace in Him.

I started 'Delivery' with just the title. I knew that's what it would be called and I knew it would be based around the fact that God sent His only Son for us, but that's all I had. After thinking about what that delivery meant to me, I started writing the rest of the song. It was because of that delivery that I am able to have eternal life. One way. The only hope. Jesus.

Moonlight is my favorite song on this record. I spent more time writing and recording this than any other song I've ever done. The inspiration is from Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." I've always had a huge fascination with that piece. The subtle movements and changes of the chords. The eerie and haunting feeling it gives. I decided to keep the same title and write a song around that. I spent so much time working on the lyric because I didn't want it to pale in comparison to the music. I wanted it to be poetic. It needed to be. After finishing the chorus completely, I was stumped on the verses. I had the general idea and melody, but couldn't land the exact lyric. I decided to call up Doug McKelvey who is a brilliant writer and I knew he could bring out the poetic side. We finished it together and then all I had to do was produce it. I had already recorded the piano for most of the song, but now it was time to dive deep into the production. With all the chord changes this song has, there was no room for filler instruments. Every part that was recorded had to be meticulously thought out. I knew I wanted it to have a huge sound so I started building the drums with samples I had. Slowly, but surely, the parts came together and after two months of recording, it was done. 

"You and Me"
My original goal for this song was to use some interesting and uncommon chords to create a simple sounding song. Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney are the kings of this. In my opinion, of course. They make it sound so simple, but when you sit down to play it you realize it's actually quite complex. I wanted the movements to be simple, but to utilize chords and notes that were outside of the major key I was playing in. As I started to write it, the lyrics just came out. The next day I  had a co-write scheduled with an incredible writer named Bryan Fowler. I had about half the song written and showed it to him to see if he would want to dig in with me to finish it out. By the time that session was done, the song was complete.

This is my second favorite song on the album. I usually don't ever say my favorites, but I just can't help it. This one is very personal. It has a feel-good vibe to it, but man was it hard to write. Not really because I couldn't find the words, I just didn't want to say them. Being vulnerable isn't easy. Some of my favorite lyrics I've ever written are in this song. It's simply put, but they feel so honest and freeing to say. I was done with closing off parts of me that I was ashamed about and was hoping He wouldn't find. Here is my everything.

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