Jared Anderson, the renowned songwriter behind anthems "Great I Am," "Amazed" and "Rescue," returns October 4 with The Whole Landscape, a 5-song meditation on aspects of God's healing and restoration. The EP marks Anderson's first project since signing with Franklin, Tennessee's Rixon Entertainment Group for management representation.
Anderson weaves these themes throughout The Whole Landscape, which was produced by Michael Rossback and includes co-writes with Matt Armstrong, Ed Cash, Sarah Reeves, Anthony Skinner, Andrew Bergthold and Christopher Steven Lockwood. In addition to the title track, the EP includes "Kindness," "Irresistible," "Work Of Art" and "Heaven Stands Up," which is the most corporate worship-friendly song on the project and one that Anderson calls "dangerous."
Q: Thank you Jared for doing this interview with us. In your press release, you mentioned that the songs on your new EP are focused on God's healing and redemption. Why did you decide to make these the foci of your new record?
Great question! Growing up with the modern worship movement and alongside the increased influence that non-denominational progressive churches have had, I've watched a new, beautiful intimacy with God to complement the ancient, grounded history of the Church. But my eyes have seen and my heart has also endured a great deal of the downside... the machinery behind movements, abuses beneath successful, thriving veneers. I know the gospel is real, and I'm experiencing this healing and redemption in the work of my story with enlightened witnesses and the Spirit of God. This project is a scrapbook, a memoir of that journey.
"You gather all my pieces, pour water on dry places, patient where I'm cracked and torn... I love being your work of art... Your presence wide open, Your grace is an ocean"
Q: How can these songs help bring healing and God's redemption to your listeners?
A healthy portion of the Bible is poetry. Metaphor, art, music, and beauty in general are restorative elixirs for the brain and the body. The voice of God and the words of God both create and redeem. I believe we carry a similar power as little Christs (Christians).
Q: You also said that your new song "Heaven Stand Up" is "dangerous." What do you mean by this?
It's dangerous because it borders being over-confident and cocky, but I believe it's true. There's a call to believers to step into the authority they have in Christ and speak truth to situations and circumstances... if we are God's children indwelled with His Spirit, when we show up, Heaven shows up. We are carriers of the Kingdom.
"The lights they come on, the chains they fall off, slaves come out singing... when I show up, Heaven shows up, when I stand up, Heaven stands up"
Q: You also have some really noteworthy songwriters who have had co-written with you on this project. Who are some of them?
Ed Cash and Matt Armstrong are dear friends who carry a deep love for the wild adventure of writing. Anthony Skinner, to know him is to love him. He's accomplished and brings a soul and grit to the session. He's also like the big brother you always wanted.
Q: Was there an anointing moment you experienced in the writing process that you would like to share with us?
I think the song "Work of Art" came to Chris Lockwood and me out of nowhere. We were in the choir room at church and decided to take the afternoon and try and write a song. Chris came with the chord progression for the verse, and I don't know if there was just so much built up emotion that needed to come out or what, but it came like a flashflood. It felt like we could say anything and it would be meaningful. We were so ready to be invited to the presence of God and our response was that the work is beautiful and the story is a privilege even though the road is narrow and the suffering is real.
Q: My favorite song off your new record is "Kindness." Can you tell us more about your thoughts about this song?
Thank you! It's probably the best on the project. As much as we don't like to be sensual in church, to talk about the physical aspect of ourselves and our surroundings, the truth is we are embodied people... and the love of God involves all our senses, which I tried to bring out in the lyrics: eye contact, closeness, very personal stuff. These are things you can't plot on a graph. They are human and yet holy and the work of redemption.
"I forget the reason why you pulled me close, clothed me in your righteousness and called me your own... I forget where every tear I've cried is kept, You're teaching the dancing steps..."
Q: With only 5 songs on this release, are you following this up with another EP or album soon?
I would love to. I don't have anything on the calendar right now but I can't wait for the next chance. In the meantime, I'll keep writing songs and helping others write.
Additional information and resources, including news and tour updates, song charts and the Andersons' adoption journey, can be found at http://JaredAnderson.com or by following him on Facebook @JaredAndersonOfficial and on Twitter and Instagram @JaredAnderson.