Many of you have noticed that the One Wild Life and I am Mountain albums all disappeared from online stores and streaming services last month, and that a new version of One Wild Life appeared today. Well, this post is an explanation of all of that as well as a clarification of what our plans are for the future.
The 8 years that have passed since we released our first Gungor record have been a wild and amazing ride. When we released Beautiful Things, we were young church planters with no kids . We had moved from Grand Rapids to Denver in a wonderfully foolish and idealistic fury, hoping to basically reinvent a viable way of following Jesus together with some friends. In the process, we rediscovered the wheel - “Oh, this is why people meet EVERY Sunday…” “Oh, this is why people need ritual in their life…” and so on.
Most of the early music we made for Gungor was music that had come out of that experiment and beautiful experience. We loved Denver and loved the music we were making. It was church music; progressive church music, but church music nonetheless.
Then things changed. The next several years was a whirlwind of changing beliefs, circumstances and consequently artistic vision. From spaghetti western tinged songs about losing belief to ballads about the birth of our beautiful baby girl with Down Syndrome to droney, phrygian dominant musings about the ultimate nature of the Self, Gungor explored a pretty broad artistic map. Some of you have been along on the entire ride with us. Others have preferred one part of the journey over the others. Whatever part of the journey you have been on, we are deeply grateful for you. But all of this wandering and artistic experimentation has left Gungor in a strange place.
For instance, at any given Gungor show, there is a mix of people who all want different things from the show. Some people want to hear the newest and more trippy sort of music like “Am I”, “Whale”, while others want to worship God and hear the older songs like “Beautiful Things” and “Dry Bones.” The type of listener that wants to hear both of those ends of the Gungor spectrum are out there but if this is you, you are somewhat of a rarity. : ) This has placed us in the strange predicament of always having to disappoint some portion of our audience. Whether it be in the live shows or the music we release, Gungor has had a sort of strange multiple personality thing going on within its musical stylings. Some of that is purposeful and fun and won’t change. We have broad and eclectic taste and love playing with different timbres, tones and styles. We always have and always will. But we have decided to be more intentional with the direction and vision of the different brands that we have started.
That’s why we took down the last several albums. We are going to be taking some of the far edges of the Gungor music spectrum and finding other homes for that music, and allowing Gungor to return a little more to its spiritual roots…and we are pretty excited to see what transpires!
We still plan on writing the music like “Lovely Broken” or “Birth” or the rest of the music that doesn’t really fit within the “Christian” or “worship” narrative, but rather than trying to always cram all of that onto Gungor’s stage, we are going to be launching a few other projects this next year that can move more in those directions. Lisa, for instance, will be releasing a solo album this summer that will include some new material but also a few of the One Wild Life trilogy songs that many of us really love. I also plan on releasing a solo project sometime in the next year. And there may be more than that. We’ll see. But the basic point is that we are taking Gungor back to being a band that exists within the progressive spiritual space, and finding different homes for some of the other music that we’ve tried unsuccessfully to fundamentally change the Gungor brand with.
So there you go! That’s what’s been going on. One Wild Life is now up as a single project on stores and streaming services everywhere, but with the caveat that some of it has been carefully re-ordered, and some of it has been removed in order to place those songs on other projects. I actually really like this new “director’s cut,” if you will, of the One Wild Life project. At a little over 90 minutes, it’s a bit more succinct, but we were able to keep the themes together really well. So, check that out and keep an eye out for the upcoming projects that will allow us to not only stretch our wings out a bit, but have more clarity of vision for what every show and album we work on to be moving towards.
Again, we are so grateful to be on this journey with you. We wouldn’t be able to make music without you! On a personal level we are in one of the best places of our lives and are so excited for what is to come. So much love to all of you!
Michael and Lisa Gungor