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?
When you asked what we hoped for next year, my thought was hear “Aiming For Hope” in the concert I will be attending. Everything about it is perfect. Thank you Janie for analyzing it so gently.
Both “Upset with Me” and “Seasons” get me every time. I only listen to those when I am in my car and by myself,,, or it would be way too embarrassing. I LOVE the CD.
Loved every word, Janey!
Aiming for Hope never fails to make me cry, hits me every time… I actually have been listening to the whole album all the way through, which is unusual for me, but the one song I do go back and replay is the title track, Postcards in the Sky, there’s just something about it that takes me places.
tell me more!
It just gets under my skin, I have a physical reaction to it and feel transported… my analytical brain wants to figure out why but I fight that impulse because I don’t want to dissect it too much, I just want to float off into it. That probably makes zero sense, hahaha.
Upset with me up all night.
Thank you, thank you, thank you , for giving this song the attention it deserves. I love the lyrics, the music , the whole message of Aiming for Hope. And can we talk about the husky quality of David’s voice , the humming, the ethereal feel of the production. Just pure quality.
“the ethereal feel of the production” indeed!
Janey, I love this. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with such touching insights. You referred to “Aiming for Hope” as a “wondrous lullaby,” a perfect description in my opinion. Even the first notes of the introduction have a calming effect. The message is profound, yet David’s soaring delivery provides reassurance and comfort, comfort that goes to another level when he is humming along. A wondrous lullaby indeed.
Beautifully said ((((Janey))))
Adore this song….. but I adore this entire album sooo much, I don’t even know how to put it into words. This is exactly the kind of music I wanted him to do and his voice really does shine on these songs……
Feeling very blessed
Thank you Janey for highlighting this song. The first time I listened it brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful message and melody, sung with so much tenderness. Every song on this album is so good . I listen to it every day because this music with his voice is just perfect. One song I’d love to hear him sing is Shine A Light. I love the groovy chorus.
me too, oliveoil! Shine a Light has totally grown on me! So groovy & soulful, it needs to be playing over the credits of a movie or TV show!
Thank you Janey, for sharing your feelings and insights about Aiming For Hope, really hits home for me. I agree with your descriptions and lovely feelings about this gorgeous song. It has always been one of my favourites from first listen when it got me teary eyed, still does sometimes. I can honestly say it is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in recent years and of course, David’s incredible, profound vocals add so much to that beauty.
I am really in love with the song. I listen to the whole album because it is just so good but often replay Aiming for Hope (and a couple of others) just because I can’t get enough of that beautiful sound. Who sings like that? I have heard this question asked often and the answer is, well….no one quite like David!
which other songs do you often replay (if i may ask)?
Spotlight Down has always been a favourite for me too so replay that one often, as well as the title track. Each song brings something so special though, what a great album.
I hope no one else was as stooopid as me and stayed up for an announcement about an announcement. 😆
Haha, Just saw the announcement (I’m on pacific time though) but I bet there were plenty who stayed up for it. Well, we have a date for the video. 🙂
What a great photo!
WHAT THE HECK?!?!? I need to start taking more vitamins to keep up with this guy.
Plus: 😆 😆 😆
And Cindy’s husband is from Alberta, btw! 🙂
And how cool is this?? Thanks, Janey, for the heads up!!!
So cool! we need some remarks and hashtags from Tina to make it complete however, lol.
Janey….I really enjoyed your Aiming for Hope appreciation post. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album, too! That song along with A Little Goes a Long Way, Seasons, and Shine a Light are my most frequently repeated songs. I absolutely love the entire album. The music, the lyrics, and of course David’s vocals are all amazingly beautiful. I’ve often thought that the songs on this album would be wonderful to incorporate into a musical, much like the ABBA music in Mama Mia. A skilled writer could work them into a great storyline. Maybe TOfan would be interested!! When I listen to A Little Goes a Long Way, I can imagine an audience up on their feet grooving to this song as the finale number!
I like how you think, Spirit! What a great idea!
Spirit, I’ve often thought of different scenes many of the PiTS songs could (and should!) be used for whether they’d be for TV or the stage. There certainly is a common thread (and a bit of a timeline) that could easily render a story. Any takers out there?
omigosh he’s writing Christmas songs!!!
OMG is right!!!
Just caught David’s Insta Live and the end of his FB live from the studio … need to go watch when I get home… HE IS SO EXCITED ABOUT HIS 3 (THREE!!!!! 😳😳😳😳) NEW PROJECTS! Sooooo awesome to see him so happy!!! *SOBS*
🙃🙃🙃🙃🎶🎶🎶 I just popped in to squee about all of this, cuz I just got a change to watch the FB Live….3 THREEEE projects, peeps! #Christmas!!! #Spanish!!! #English!!! And yes…I came to say…it is SOOOO flippin’ fantastic to see him finally comfortable in his own skin, and beyond that…just having so much fun doing music, loving his collaborations, being among people he trusts, admires, likes… he’s found his “right place” apparently…and that set him free to be the musical genius he was born to be. It is so fantastic to see…just can’t even find the words to express it. 🙂
Annnnnd we have a 🎶video coming this week too. It’s hard to keep up! #lovingit
David’s IG Live for anyone who missed it: