It was sometime in the mid '90s that I was in Light and Life Christian bookstore in Indianapolis. I loved going there because they had a wider selection of Christian music, including the more alternative music (Tooth & Nail Records and the like) that I was getting into. I could preview all sorts of new music there.
Our hearts are burning bright as we're lifted out of nowhere. Our songs all stay behind to sing the story of our lives.— , “The Story of Our Lives”
I picked out the album Aurora 7.2 to preview and the second track caught me right away. It was this bouncy, catchy dance track, “Defend Your Joy (Buck Rogers' radio edit)” by The Echoing Green. I bought their album Hope Springs Eternal shortly after that and it quickly became one of my favorite albums. I loved the mix of guitars with electronic music, and the lyrics were quite encouraging.
Through high school and the following years, I would follow their work closely and get every album that I could. They earned their place as one of my favorite bands early on. There was always some song that really moved me. The common thread through many of their songs was hope.
In 2003, The Winter of Our Discontent came out and the first song, “The Story of Our Lives,” blew me away. For me, the message of the song is that life can be harsh at times, but we don't have to be beaten down by it. The sum of the good and the bad is the story of our lives; these stories go on and can impact others. The music captures this mood perfectly. It has encouraged me countless times and the lyrics have been my email signature for years now.
Hope has been such a recurring theme in my life, so I am not surprised how much these songs resonate with me. I recommend them highly. Even if you don't usually like electronica/synthpop, you might be surprised. Or inspired. Supernova is a really solid album to start with and In Scarlet and Vile was just released.
Hope still has a name and it sets us on fire.
Hope has made a way for all the dead hearts to arise.
— “Dead Hearts”
They do good covers, too: