Aiming for Hope
Without a doubt, Aiming for Hope is my most listened to Postcards in the Sky track.
I’m on the road at 5:30 a.m. while it’s still dark (watching the sky changing colors, collide into night) and the song reminds me of a special time I had with a family member that recently passed away (can’t help wondering where you are, where you are).
It’s a gentle way to start my day – spending time with a recently departed loved one and hearing the buttery richness of David’s head voice.
The simple production is perfect with just enough strings for punctuation. The cello compliments David’s voice to a T, to my ear they have the same warm tone.
The message David explained (see the VIP videos below) was that the stars are brightest when it’s darkest, just as you can see God’s work in your darkest times.
It was something I hadn’t thought about but, on one of those drives, I suddenly realized how true that was. And in ultimate David fashion, in the verse that followed my thoughts, David started singing:
If there’s a way
A way to clear all these clouds
I’d show you how
There are always signs
Right above you
Made of lights, burning bright
And the darker it gets
The more you can see it
Beyond these profoundly personal lyrics, one of the elements I’ve noticed on this album that also differentiates it from his other works is the vocal risks he takes.
We often hear his ad libs, vocal runs and change ups in concert, but his previous studio albums were shy of those nuances. Aiming for Hope has more than its share.
Put the headphones on and treat yourself to the first ladadadadada…ladadanaaaaaa…ummmmm mmmm and the glorious final yaaaa ummmmm…mmmmmm, with that sweet little vocal twist. Oh my.
Mention has to be made of the key change during the chorus. His voice rises up to the task and David makes it sound effortless. What incredible control.
David hasn’t mentioned who’s responsible for the production of this wondrous lullaby so I’m not sure who to thank for that, but kudos to Stephanie and Dustin for the co-write.
Here are his live performances of the song so far:
Sellersville, VIP, The first time we ever heard this live… David explained that he’d come up with a few melodies and song fragments while on his mission (including some of Seasons and Aiming for Hope), and they’d stayed with him. So when he got home, Stephanie Mabey and Dustin Christensen helped him finish the song.
Kansas City VIP (thanks, Pastel!!!), David talks about how the song came about.
Indianapolis VIP (thanks, Robin!!!), David explains a little more about the meaning behind the song, that it’s about “keeping hope” and connecting with nature and the sky, that “when there’s a dark time of our life sometimes reveal the most beautiful things about life and who we are,” and looking for those deeper signs in the night beyond the darkness or the pain we might be going through.
How about you guys? What’s your most listened to track on the album so far?