I’m excited to announce and share the release of Austin City Life’s new Advent song “We Are Waiting.” This song was written, recorded, and produced by our musicians out of a love for Jesus and a desire to quicken worship in his people during the Advent season. It’s fresh, profoundly Christological, creative, and has a great chorus:
King of Kings, come again
Renew all things, come again
As the Prince of Peace, come again
We are waiting
We encourage you to download the song at whatever cost you want to pay, yes, even for free. It is our hope and prayer that you are quickened to worship our messiah with deep, sustained affection and obedience during this Christmas season.
Interview on the Writing “We Are Waiting”
I asked our song-writer, Miranda, to answer a few questions about the writing of this song:
Why did you choose to write a new Christmas song when so many already exist?
“Sing a new song to the Lord” I really believe that God gave us the unique ability to be creative and we are blessed immensely when we worship through the gift of creativity. Writing a song for the church for Christmas is intimidating to say the least… there are some pretty epic advent songs that will stand the test of time. As I read and re-read the Story of Christ’s birth, I was struck by this parallel between the Israelites waiting for their messiah and our waiting for his coming again to renew all things. This was a perspective that I had never sung in an advent song before and thought that it might be encouraging to explore.
Is there anything we should know about your choice of lyrics?
If you notice the first verse is written from the perspective of the Angels and the second verse is narrative. I normally do not change perspectives in the middle of the song… but I couldn’t get over how important of a role angels played in the the story of Christ’s birth. I wanted to include them without saying…. “then the angel appeared to Joseph” — by using the perspective shift we know it without having to say it, which, for me are the kinds of things that make songwriting powerful.
My favorite part of the song is the bridge. I can’t think of an advent song that I have ever sung that connects these theological dots. God of the universe coming in such an unexpected way, to turn everything on its head. It is such a beautiful & meaningful part of the birth of Christ that I have never sung. Corporate worship can be a powerful teaching tool — my prayer is that this truth will get caught in our heads and hearts in a new way and produce worship in our lives.
Can you explain what led you to make some of your musical decisions in this song?
The main musical decisions that we made was to record it for free and subsequently be able to give it away for free 🙂
That is a scary thing to do… you know that the quality of the recording cannot possibly be as excellent as it would be if you went to a professional studio. That being said, I am very pleased with the level of excellence we were able to achieve with very limited gear, time and experience. Matt Oakes & the band worked very hard with joyful hearts to serve the Church, we are so grateful to God for them.
The bridge of this song is crucial to the musical movement. It is a mood shift, you know that it is important by the change of the chords & the building of the tension in the drums. The second half of the bridge the electric guitar comes in to heighten the anticipation of the climax of the chorus. This was a very important part of the Chorus paying off and eliciting a release… which mimics the Advent season… anticipation & joyful worship!
What was it like to collaborate on a new song in such a short time?
This is the first time we have ever attempted to record and release “in-house” so it was more like an experiment. I normally like to play the song live with the whole band to work out some of the kinks in the arrangement, but because of the time frame, we didn’t have that luxary… we just had to go for it. Which definitely changes the game plan, you have to be more flexible, listen to the players & try to communicate with the other musicians on what you are envisioning…. everyone has to die to themselves a little more in order to love one another and maintain perspective. We think that it went really well and are looking forward to doing more recordings to release for free 🙂
Does writing a “worship” song differ from writing as a singer-songwriter?
For me, the process looks very different. Generally when I write for the church, it comes out of a prompt… whether that be “Advent” or a scripture or truth that has peaked my interest. I tend to write more with my mind, thinking & writing more theologically because I know that when the church sings this song… it will teach them something, and I want to make sure that the truths of scripture are carefully expressed. Writing for the church is always more difficult for me. When I write songs that are not intended for the church it is much more fluid — stream of conscious. I write more out of feeling & take more artistic license. I don’t have to complete the story or explain every detail, I get to allow the listener to insert their own details a bit…. which is part of why I love songwriting so much, it is an interaction — emotional, cerebral, fanciful, spiritual.