In our A-D-D culture where MySpace, Facebook and Wii often reigns supreme, simplicity isn’t considered bliss. In fact, it probably leads to the long sighs of boredom.
But for Telecast’s frontman Josh White, the last couple of years have been a crash course in embracing the simple joys of spending time alone with God. “I quickly realized that I allowed so much noise into my life that I lost sight of Christ in the process,” White says. “There is a beautiful simplicity in a relationship with Jesus. It was just a matter of re-defining my priorities.”
Of course, White’s the first to admit that he doesn’t always have everything together, considering he’s a pastor at Solid Rock church and a musician. And while the juggling act is never easy, White’s resolve certainly is single-minded: “I want to bring theology back to music and be as Jesus-focused as possible. Pure and simple.”
With Telecast’s third album, Quiet Revolution, White, and his band accomplish that goal in spades with a beautifully crafted collection of 12 songs that serve as a call to holiness for believers.
Like the band’s previous two efforts, the atmospheric, Brit-rock ambience of songs like “The Message” and “All Around Me” tip their hat to Travis, The Doves and Coldplay without sounding too copycat in the process. Since White is never content simply repeating what’s already been done, however, White’s inner folkie a la Nick Drake, Bread and Simon & Garfunkel also provided much of the album’s inspiration.
“I like to push the envelope without losing everyone in the process,” White says. “My goal was to write some really simple, beautiful melodies. This time, I actually wrote most of the piano hooks before the guitar hooks, so that alone gave the project a whole new feel.”
But style without substance isn’t exactly White’s forte, so he was intentional about creating songs that were thought-provoking as well.
In “Beautiful Mystery,” one of the project’s standout tracks, White found inspiration in the lonely countryside of Iceland. “I was mediating on the mysteriousness of loving a God that I can’t see, when it hit me that it is a far greater mystery that I believe so firmly not just in this unseen God’s existence but in His Love for me,” White shares. “Unseen realities do not cause me much discomfort, or even bring much skepticism into my mind, for the things that I love most about those I love is not what is seen. Do not get me wrong, I love to look at my wife. But what I love most about my wife is not what I see ‘the outer woman’, but who I know ‘the inner woman.’
“Jesus said to Phillip in John 14:9, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me?’ Phillip saw Him but did not know Him. The mystery is not the unseen for we always see whatever we are filled with. Paul wrote in Romans 1:20 that ‘His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made. He was filled with a God he knew and therefore saw Him in everything!”
Also demonstrating White’s innate knack for marrying preaching and melody, “Temporary Twilight” creates a gorgeous melodic backdrop for a track about lost souls.
“In his incredible book The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis wrote of a fictional purgatory, a place of permanent twilight where lost souls find themselves in total detachment from all relationships,” White explains. “Twilight is an interesting time of day because it diffuses light to the point of distorting the reality of what we are actually looking at. It hides instead of unveiling. The closer we move toward Jesus the more His light dispels the darkness illuminates us as believers and in turn convinces the seeker. This song is a simple song that speaks of this process of sanctification of moving from temporary twilight into permanent light.”
With a potent mix of theological truth and catchy songs that’ll stick in your cranium for weeks, Telecast continues to make dynamic pop music with a theologian’s heart, which makes Quiet Revolution a welcome respite in an overly saturated culture.