Spectator Music presents: the album that changed my life — 'Air for Free' & 'Where the Light Shines Through'

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 at 2:34 PM
Spectator Music presents: the album that changed my life — 'Air for Free' & 'Where the Light Shines Through' by Macala Leigey

The glaring red lights burn into the stage, people filter in, packing the decently large floor space, and with the anticipation noticeably growing in the air, the stage crew rushes to prep the stage.

I was surrounded by people, somewhere along the right side of the stage and the middle of not being close enough to the stage – according to my die-hard Switchfoot fan friends. I was packed in with nearly 2,000 people, yet I felt so lost.

At that point of my life, I was still nursing a broken heart (enough said) and trying to make sense of who I was becoming, what I wanted to do with my life (or more aptly, with my major), and for a lack of better terms, I was still in that wonderfully perplexing “soul-searching” phase that every young adult seems to endure at one point or another.

Though my mind was fogged with the confusion of life, as soon as the lights went up and I heard the first encompassing echo of a kick-drum and the wonderfully laid-back vibe of “Air For Free,” the title track for Relient K’s 2016 album.

After Relient K, Switchfoot kept my worries away with their striking synth-induced harmonies and heart-pounding guitar riffs in Switchfoot’s tune “Holy Water,” the lead track off of their 2016 album “Where the Light Shines Through,” I fell in love, and every problem or worry I had faded away.

This music was different: this music had passion behind it, a raw production of meaningful lyrics, and a purpose meant for more than money. These two bands were in the business of impacting souls, not making merch sales. They weren’t fake with their appearance or forceful with their message, they were just doing what they loved, and understandably doing it to bring hope to every broken soul who heard their anthems.

These two albums came into my life at such a pivotal moment, and have since housed the anthems that encourage me through the good and the bad. “Air for Free” and “Where the Light Shines Through,” eased my first heartbreak, accompanied me on the shores of Nicaragua during my first mission trip, flew to Europe with me, were the background tracks to my concert photography adventures, and most importantly, strengthened my faith.

I’ve yet to experience another source of complete comfort and sweet solace as soothing as the charming harmony of “Air for Free.” Even on my worst days that song can instantly take my problems away – well at least for the three minutes it offers its warmly haunting embrace.

As for “Where the Light Shines Through,” I have a banner in my room covered in lyrics from this album, because every day I wake up and am reminded that “Life is short. I wanna live it well,” and “the wound is where the light shines through.” These lyrics offer so much hope and light, and as a writer, words are what inspire me, words are what get me through the day – and these lyrics, which I’ve heard at least 200 times, continue to inspire me every single day.

These two bands wore their faith on their sleeves as they created these albums, and being able to hear that kind of raw, spiritually encouraging passion each day is virtually impossible for me to accurately applaud through words. I am so grateful for these two bands and for these two albums, because they’ve done more for me than they will ever know.

And as I sit here, recalling the first time I heard these albums, listening to what is probably my thousandth time hearing “Air for Free,” I sink back in my chair and drift off into the soft melody that has so many memories attached to it, and allow it to continue changing my life.

Stream the albums below:


Macala Leigey is a managing editor (print) for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com. 

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