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John Van Deusen - I Am Origami (Parts 1 - 4)
Music You Might Want to Consider - I
I started this project intending on being caught up on the week to week entries, but alas, I am a few weeks behind. However, this ended up being a delightful problem, since my inability to keep on deadline has helped line my entries up with the release date of the latest (and according to John Van Deusen, the last) volume of the I Am Origami album series.
I discovered the music of John Van Deusen a few years ago, when it was announced that the third I Am Origami volume was going to be released by Tooth & Nail Records. I had never heard of him prior to that, but apparantly, he was a widely respected independent artist from Anacortes, Washington. He had previously been the lead singer for The Lonely Forest, a successful indy band that had their music featured on The Vampire Diaries and made an appearance on The Jimmy Kimmel Show.
When The Lonely Forest went on indefinite hiatus, Van Deusen continued writing and recording music as a solo artist. With lyrical poetry reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie through the lens of the psalmist, his music is an honest intersection between faith and artistry, something all too rare in the world of music, Christian or secular.
When I first heard I Am Origami - Pt. 2 - With Every Power Wide Awake, I was still in the midst of a deep depression. I had grown disillusioned with the modern church, with the ubiquity of vapid and self-centered worship music, almost to the point where, I knew what I believed, but I didn’t think there was anyone who believed the same.
It sounds a bit melodramatic, but With Every Power Wide Awake just might have kept me from giving up on faith altogether. It’s that good.
Every part of I Am Origami has its strengths; Part 1 sets the stage for the early days of faith, Part 2 is a celebration of that faith through worship, Part 3 and Part 4 seem to be reflections on how to live an authentic faith, all while feeling frustrated with the state of the church at large.1
But the overarching theme is to only surrender to one thing - God above - His love, His mercy, His grace, and sovereignty. Despite the nature of this very fallen, very broken world, He is always there, and there is no limit to his love. And singing about it doesn’t require compromise in musicianship or poetry. It’s a reflection of His work, and John Van Deusen is the kind of artist that reflects Him well.
I Am Origami - Part 4 - Marathon Daze is available now on Apple Music, Spotify, and elsewhere, but I encourage you to buy directly from the artist, over at this link. You can also pick up the rest of the I Am Origami albums there as well. You wont’ be disappointed.
This is all open to intepretation. I could be wrong about all of this, but this is how I personally see it.