For contemporary Christian artist Joel Vaughn, writing songs that give ear to unimaginably hard circumstances, and how God enters those moments, is often the heart behind the music.
Vaughn spoke to American Songwriter about how his forthcoming collection, Louder Than The Lies, releasing November 6, tells the story of compelling moments in his life that inspire him to write the proclamations of truth found in his music.
Along with the four-track collection, Vaughn says he is releasing multiple videos to creatively emote the power of the message in the lyrics of the tracks.
Vaughn chose to visually communicate “Already Done,” a hopeful track featuring a strong and uplifting melody over bouncing rhythms and bright guitars, through a video of interpretive dancing.
Vaughn says his goal with the video, dating back to the initial planning stages, was to do something creative and out of the box of normal, contemporary christian genre videos.
“We just wanted to do something different,” Vaughn says. “We said, ‘what if we talked to dancers, to artistically represent overcoming mountains in their lives and goliaths through dance?’.”
“If you had asked me would I ever imagine having a music video with interpretive dancers being cut in and out I never would have said ‘yeah, that’s something I would have thought of,’,” Vaughn continues. “But as we talked about it…we felt like it was a fresh idea that could communicate, even though it’s a little bit different than what people are used to, very clearly.”
With the 4-track project preparing for the final, 12 track album release, Vaughn says specific and deep communication of the reality of God is what the entire project moves toward.
Additionally, “Already Done,” speaks directly to the title of the collection, as do other songs from the completed album Vaughn notes.
“I struggle with ‘what is the truth of the situation?’ When you’re struggling as a songwriter and things don’t seem to make sense and they aren’t lining up, it seems like for me personally I always buy into this lie that ‘man, I’m really not good at this, I don’t know why I’m still doing this and I don’t know why I should continue,’,” Vaughn explains.
But it’s when songs come together such as “It’s Okay,” a track Vaughn wrote years ago in which he imagines telling a little child how God is with him, even as he is alone in the world from deceased and abandoning parents, that he realizes the purpose in his songwriting. This driving perspective can carry over to many songwriters and into multiple endeavors, Vaughn emphasizes.
“It may not seem like what you’re doing right now in your life makes sense. But I believe in a God that brings things full circle and in order,” Vaughn says. “We may not see the truth of the situation right now, but that is all going to come together in the end and keep pressing into the truth and not the lies, and it’s all going to be ok.”