"Back to You" is a song that encourages us to examine our faith and return to God.
It’s been a few years since the priest-led band brothersister broke onto the scene with their fantastic debut album, So Shine. Now Fr. Lawrence Tucker, the driving songwriting force behind brothersister, is back showing off the fruits of his labors during the world pandemic: the new single, “Back to You.”
The song opens like the dawn of a new day, with a cascading guitar line that gives the impression of sunlight slowly creeping through a window frame. This introduction gives rise to well-rounded vocals of Deirdre Broderick, who previously sang on So Shine. Broderick was (forgive the pun) instrumental to this track, taking on the additional roles of arranger and producer of “Back to You.”
The vocals and exceptional licks from the lead guitar work to support the lyrics, which tell the story of a return to faith. The words are simply stated, but they speak to the deep-seated desire for the presence of God in one’s life. “Back to You” encourages listeners to examine their own relationship with God and to identify the Truth of the faith to which we are all called.
Fr. Tucker was kind enough to sit down with Aleteia and talk about brothersister’s latest release, as well as his approach to songwriting.
What was the inspiration behind your new song, “Back to You”?
In my experience as a priest, I have noticed that many people, due in large part to the secularization of society, are struggling in their relationship with God, or with the Church, and there is an internal “debate” going on in their conscience, as well as at the emotional level. And so I thought it might be helpful to bring this interior dialogue into the open and articulate it in the context of a song.
How does admitting to God our own wrongdoings benefit our spiritual life? Conversely, what does it mean to acknowledge that God is correct?
By humbly admitting that we sometimes make wrong choices and go astray, we become perfect candidates for renewal, and a path out of the darkness of pride opens up for us. Acknowledging that God knows more than us and that his way is always the right way breaks the chains of our self-destructive, isolating pride and sets us free for love and communion.
Can you explain how the musical elements relate to the relationship between us and God?
The song starts out with a gentle melody consisting of four notes moving up the scale. That little melody is then met by another sweet melody coming down the scale. The idea here is to indicate that a decision involving two options is being mulled over. So the stage is now set but the question remains: “What sort of decision is this? Is it a common,’trivial’ decision?”
At this point, deftly, but with power and depth, the strings enter into the musical space to state in a clear, unequivocal way that, far from being superficial, this is a serious, personal decision with existential ramifications.
As the music steadily builds in a crescendo, the “protagonist” finally reaches an apogee where the entire discussion moves from the head to the heart … from cognitive to emotional clarity … and this is precisely where David Spinozza, one of the most accomplished guitarists of our times, steps onto the stage and, drawing upon his extensive background in R&B/Rock, gives a breathtaking, heart-wrenching “performance for the ages” that expresses the deep feelings associated with a sincere conversion of heart.
What’s it like to create music as a priest? How does your vocation shape your craft?
I am essentially a contemplative missionary who spends at least three hours a day in quiet, contemplative prayer. Therefore, I see my songs as prayers that are the fruit of my contemplative union with God. I don’t consciously write liturgical music; there already exists a huge body of liturgical music by great artists like … John Michael Talbot, Hermana Glenda, and The St. Louis Jesuits.
What we are trying to do in brothersister is to offer the listener inspirational music that is a unique blend of contemplative depth and “missionary-spunk.” For me personally, writing music/songs is a way to do missionary outreach that enables me to communicate the good news to people all around the globe I would not otherwise be able to reach. We have people visiting our website from almost every nation on the planet.
We are hoping to release another single this coming summer.