It seems like every adult I know is in a real sense walking wounded. Somewhere along the line our hearts have broken, our minds have been overwhelmed, and we have endured a pain too intense to ever forget. Here at Wheat and Tares, we usually converse about this pain in terms of faith crisis.
For those who’ve been through a faith crisis, or who currently ache over their doubts, a new album from recording artist Mindy Gledhill may be the blessing you need. A few years ago, Ms. Gledhill left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In addition to being her native faith, Mormonism also provided a core audience for her career. She explores her difficult transition out of the religion in a new album: Rabbit Hole.
“Even when you’re broken,Mindy Gledhill, Rabbit Hole
there are always doors to open,
new dimensions to explore,
but you won’t know until you’re in
a thousand pieces on the floor.”
In a recent interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Gledhill describes her music as indie-pop and artsy. Her songs have been used in TV shows like The Good Wife and Bones? Also, Gledhill’s song Whole Wide World was licensed by the restored Church for its Meet the Mormons documentary.
Upon its release on Friday, I gave Rabbit Hole my full and undivided attention. In addition to its musical beauty, with which fans of Gledhill’s past albums are well-acquainted, the songs impressed me as divinely amiable. They are free of the overt preachiness which necessarily shows up in hymns, Christian rock, and EFY tracks. In fact, two or three of the tracks are earthly love songs, speaking to the romance and human companionship facets of many people’s faith journeys. The waltzing tune Old Willow Lane, occurring late in the album, seems a sublime nod to arrival and inclusion.
For all the angst Rabbit Hole may express, it is anything but a rage against the Church exercise. The songs are reflective and ultimately reassuring. Rabbit Hole treats listeners to a mix of upbeat and slow, poignant and playful. Nor is this album geared solely for those who have stopped attending the Church. Gledhill’s songs offer just as much to those who go through a faith crisis and choose to stay in their religion. For Mormon listeners, certain imagery may contain specific connotations; nevertheless, one need not be Mormon to enjoy this collection.
Now, I encourage you to enjoy the title track’s lyric video:
For those interested in reading more about Gledhill’s faith transition, I recommend the Salt Lake Tribune article mentioned above. The article also includes many sample lyrics from Rabbit Hole. Go poetry!
“Going through this experience has really given me a lot of empathy for people who go through hard experiences. I think it’s made me a lot softer and less judgmental towards people who are going through hard things, because what they’re doing is really just becoming stronger people.”Mindy Gledhill, from a Behind the Scenes Peek video.
I first encountered Gledhill’s music while streaming Pandora at work. As I explored LDS recording artists, Pandora tossed me offerings from Gledhill’s albums Pocket Full of Poetry and Anchor. I find her music wonderfully appealing and thoughtful. If you’ve never listened to her before, many of her songs are available to enjoy for free on her YouTube channel.
Rabbit Hole is available on CD, Vinyl, and download/streaming through the usual online platforms. The track Old Willow Lane, mentioned above, is now available for listening on YouTube.
Questions for Discussion:
What are your reactions to Gledhill’s title song? If you’ve bought the album, or sampled other of her tracks, what do you think?
What songs and lyrics from Gledhill and other artists have helped you in your faith journey and/or crisis? Why?