Damien Rice has been a central musical figure in my life since around 2005. His song,”The Blower’s Daughter” haunted me for quite some time after seeing the movie Closer with Natalie Portman. The song gripped me, as few have, and I ran out to buy the album “O” soon thereafter. Yes, he was cool because He was Irish, but He was cooler because He was singing from a depth I have never experienced. I always imagined that if I was a singer, I would be just like Him, words spilling out of my mouth from pen to note, little to no filter and oozing with lots of emotion. I knew back then like I know now that I am built with more emotion than most. And I felt comforted when listening to Damien’s music, like a wooing, a call, another human who understood emotional depth and breath.
I loved Damien because he was always trying to find himself, always honest, raw, real, touched me in parts of my soul I didn’t know existed, defined and sang some of the emotions I could not explain. When I came to faith in 2013, I left Damien behind, and for an entire year I went through a transformative and deep healing period. I knew that it was best for me not to listen to any secular music, as I equated so much music with so many memories, and people. It was too hard to listen to so many songs that reminded me of so much pain. I had stopped writing for so many years and music really filled that void. And when I found Damien and knew I had to leave him behind, it hurt.
Later on into my journey I felt God allowing me to come back to some of the things I had left behind. It had been so many years that I had listened to any of Damien Rice’s songs, I didn’t even know that he had come out with a new album. So you can imagine my bliss when I put the headphones in and fell headfirst into “My Favourite Faded Fantasy.” The tears were so long overdue, and needed and so freeing. It was if I had run straight back to my old friend. But the songs didn’t cut me as they did before, they spoke to me in such a deeper sense. There were no memories or pain in My Favourite Faded Fantasy, only new words and chords to adore. It was an awakening of sorts. And I fell back in love with the artist who had helped me break through so much of my pain.
And in this leg of my journey he has risen to the occasion again. His story is fierce. I love what one reviewer says about him:
“And it’s this element to his music that draws so many in, while repelling many more; like many great works of art, its success is based solely upon drawing extreme emotional reactions, both good and bad.” Full review can be found here.
He says of himself after taking an eight year hiatus between albums, “Sometimes you have to step away from what you love in order to learn how to love it again.”
God I love that. I think the quote is genius. I think that quote is the gospel.
His story and songs are as genuinely authentic as he is. He’d hardly have to tell you anything about his life if you met him. I imagine I’d just be quiet and say, Sing it to me.
And I feel that way about my own writing. It is ever-evolving, real, raw, wrong, emotional. It goes through stages. It ebbs and flows. But it is always real, with different notes, sometimes hidden, sometimes on display for all the world to see…
Because of Damien’s music, I appreciate myself that way now, in a way that I never could before. I appreciate my depth, my highs and my lows. I know God made me that way. And I love that I can feel through His music, and learn to be free.
Enjoy the music…