Quaker songwriter Carrie Newcomer’s most intimate album yet

Religion News Service | 3/22/2019 | Staff
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Singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer.

Carrie Newcomer doesn’t know it, but she has been part of just about every bad day I’ve had in the last decade. Not, mind you, that she caused those bad days! Far from it. Rather, she provided the wise, powerful, deeply spiritual songs that helped get me over the hump, time and time again.

Indiana - Quaker - Folk - Singer - Cult

The Indiana Quaker folk singer is a cult favorite of thousands of fans and has shared her life and faith in many interviews, including this favorite conversation on Krista Tippett’s program “On Being.”

RNS: Does this album have a particular theme you could pinpoint?

Album - Themes - Uncertainty - Themes - Loss

Newcomer: This is a very intimate album, and I’m working with themes that are about living with uncertainty. Themes of loss and grief. Where do we find hope in hard times, and what does that look like? I think writers have things they return to because they continue to fascinate them. Something that runs through my work is the idea of finding something extraordinary and sacred in the ordinary.

RNS: I can see that. Like the “Geodes” song on The Geography of Light, or that line from one of your other songs about praying as only laundry can. I love that image. It’s about a quotidian sort of grace.

Newcomer - Yes - Threads - Songs - Life

Newcomer: Yes. These are threads that run through my songs because they run through my life. Some people say there’s the sacred and there’s the secular, the spiritual and the nonspiritual. But I just don’t see a dividing line there. There are all kinds of overlaps. When you choose to approach the world and your life that way, there are moments of awe and wonder and the sense of something really extraordinary and powerful about our daily lives.

RNS: Right from the beginning of this album, you’re exploring the spiritual wisdom of not knowing, which I...
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