I have written here about how much we like Switchfoot in our home. They were Anna’s favorite band, and their music evokes many memories of her. When Timberley drove the kids from Salatiga to Semarang for music lessons or other things, they would listen to Switchfoot in the car the entire one hour trip. They would all sing together on some songs. On others everyone would ride quietly, the kids reading in the back seat, Timberley keeping constant focus on the road, as you have to do in Indonesia. When I first heard Switchfoot I wasn’t that excited about them. But that changed when I began listening to their lyrics. I discovered both a depth and a fresh way of expression that I appreciated. Perhaps the turning point was when I listened to the opening line of the song “More than Fine” from the album The Beautiful Letdown: “When I wake in the morning/I want to blow into pieces/I want more than just okay.” The kids and I started talking about the lyrics and exploring the meanings of the songs. In that way, songs that they previously did not like, such as “4:12” and “Faust, Midas, and Myself” from Oh, Gravity became some of our favorites.
After Anna’s death I wondered if their new music would hold the same signficance for me. They did not dissapoint. The first song they released after Anna’s death was on the soundtrack to the movie Prince Caspian, “This is Home.” That song, we felt, so captured what we thought Anna would be saying as she passed from life to death to life, that we used that as a song in one of her memorial services. You can see the pictures and hear that song in the video section of this blog.
Now the first full album has been released, Hello Hurricane. They are still capturing the sadness and hope of living in a broken, fallen world. When we listen to the album in our car we have the interesting experience of listening to the final track followed immediately by the first track as the CD repeats itself. The final song is called “Red Eyes” and is a stirring song of hope in the midst of sadness. “What are you waiting for? The day is gone. I said, ‘I’m waiting for dawn.’/What are you aiming for, out here alone? I said, ‘I’m aiming for home.'” Again they have captured my feelings exactly. At the end of this song, as the track fades out, you can hear snippets of the words from the first track of the album, “Needle and Haystack Life,” “I found miracles there in your eyes/You are once in a lifetime.” Although they did not know Anna, I know they are singing about her. As those words fade out and the CD repeats, the song itself comes on and the whole experience begins again. Anna was truly a “needle girl in a haystack world.”