I love Freedom Souls, the newest release from Burlap to Cashmere. One key difference between it and the previous release, which has wonderfully memorable yet often ambiguous lyrics, is its more direct statements of faith. I had a chance to talk with lead singer and writer Steven Deloupolous about this. He attributes the lyrical freedom to this being a fan-supported record. With the previous mainstream release, he said the label wanted him to “dumb down the lyrics, even though I naturally write that way. I enjoy writing faith-based records because it’s freeing for me. There’s a lot of meat and potatoes in a verse out of the Bible, and I like playing with that.”
If there’s a lyrical centerpiece to the record, it’s likely the folksy mid-album ballad entitled “Passover,” which while not instrumentally incendiary, has the memorable musical feel of the last album’s “Closer to the Edge.” With it’s reference to “blood on the door,” Delopulous summons up that familiar scriptural narrative of judgment and deliverance to animate the prayer of the chorus, “Lord, you know my heart so won’t you/ Pass over me.” Elsewhere, themes of exile and pilgrimage abound, with prevalent images of desert and sea, of call and response, of old life and new.
Not that all is new. Some of the songs have percolated for more than two decades. “‘I Will Follow’”is a song I wrote over 20 years ago,” says Delopoulous. “I played it for Johnny when he must have only 14 years old. I was 17. And he said to me, ‘Steven, that’s the worst song you’ve ever written.’ He said “You can do much better. You’re a better writer than that. So I scrapped it. Twenty years later, I don’t know what made me play it, but when I did Johnny and Teddy’s ears lit up, and they said ‘Let’s work on that. Let’s work on that.’"
We can be glad they did.
They'll be here September 25th. Tickets are going fast. For more info and to reserve a seat, go HERE. Invite some friends and join us for a great evening.