by Sam Robinson
Seattle’s Citizens & Saints have dropped the first single from their forthcoming third album, A Mirror Dimly, due for release on September 16th. Lead singer Zach Bolen describes the album as the band’s most intentional one to date, and also the most meaningful personally.
Called Madness, the track features a National vibe, especially reflected in lead singer Zach Bolen’s voice in each verse. Filled with driving rhythms, strong bass, and synths, Madness is a gem. We spoke with lead singer Zach Bolen to hear the message behind the song:
‘I don’t understand why there has to be so much pain in our world. I get why we feel it, but it’s not always easy to stay patient and wait for God to restore all brokenness. Nevertheless, this past year was a time to see that while the pain at times may seem unbearable, I’m not without hope. Even more came the realisation that I just might not find all the answers I’m looking for. By remembering back on all the ways that God had been faithful in my life, I was able to move forward by faith no matter how maddening the mysteries may be at times. I could believe I was loved by a God who was feeling what I was feeling and would bring some lasting peace in due time.’
The words describe this struggle with doubt, and confusion:
Shadows of doubt, stealing my sleep, I’m wearing down without any relief
Tired eyes and a tangled up soul, I’m feeling lost……I don’t know
They keep on trying to soothe my grief, but all that’s left is a borrowed belief
It’s truth I need not another cliché
Your word is my hope for a steady faith.
A Mirror Dimly will continue to explore this dichotomy of faith and doubt across eight other tracks. The album is birthed out of the collapse of Mars Hill Church – and is the first album Citizens & Saints have recorded since that fall. Zach Bolen has said of the album:
“This record wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the fall of Mars Hill as an organisation. One of the best days in the history of Seattle was the day Mars Hill shut it doors. While the brothers and sisters of that community may not meet all together in similar places anymore, the Church of Christ did not crumble and it certainly has not weakened because of it. We experienced the love of God through His presence and His people in ways we never had before. A Mirror Dimly is the result of both personal struggles, and conversations with those swimming in doubt post Mars Hill, yet inclusive enough to be a cathartic journey of listening and contemplation for any and all. We’re not the first people to go through hard stuff; we all suffer in different ways. There is hope beyond the foggy glass; the joys of being loved forever, free from the burdens of the wounds we all carry.”
We’ll have more about the album in the coming months.