150 songs sit at the heart of the Bible, encompassing the full spectrum of human experience. Whether revelling in the beauty of creation or lamenting the pain of broken friendships, the psalmist strives always to experience life through the lens of God’s creativity, sovereignty, and lifegiving love. The fourth album of The Psalms Project, You Are, takes 14 of these songs and marries them to the language of popular folk music.
‘You are’, the title track, sets out the album’s primary theme: how the eternal Creator relates lovingly to his people, who, contrastingly, are made from the ‘dust’. With that in mind, the musical inspiration for the album came from Toplady’s traditional hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’ (Richard Redhead version). This is most fully realised in ‘Holy’, which combines the album’s most explicit rendition of the hymn with the epitome of the Creator’s loving relationship with his people: “He doesn’t treat us as we deserve… for as far as the east is from the west, he has removed our sins from us.”
Throughout the album, the dynamic between God’s perfect holiness and human ‘dustness’ (physical, emotional and moral) is explored, and the former is seen to answer the latter. This is seen most starkly in ‘Arise’: the psalmist is emotionally broken, physically fragile and feels like God himself has orchestrated their suffering. Nevertheless, it is the psalmist’s knowledge that God will “endure through all generations” that leads them to the hopeful conclusion: “now You will arise, for now it is the time for You to show mercy.”