Everything we see is a reflection of something: photons flying through the air as certain wavelengths bounce off while others are absorbed into every bit of material around us.
Everything we say is a reflection of something: our background, our experiences, our thoughts, our feelings.
Everything we do is a reflection of something: the sum total of our likes and dislikes, the culmination of our interests and pursuits, the manifestation of actions both conscious and hidden.
Throughout his two-year journey into the artist’s life brought on by his debut album Grace Like Rain, Todd Agnew has taken ample opportunity to analyze the reasons and the motivations behind the things he sees, says and does, and has channeled them into the dozen songs chronicling the Christian existence for his Ardent Records sophomore release.
Everything you’ll hear is a Reflection of Something.
“I’m ready to get this out there, to get it to the people who care about it and experience it, so they can tell me what it is,” Agnew says of the new project Reflection of Something. The Texas native-turned-Memphis transplant readily admits he has difficulty predicting how his songs impact the people that hear them, especially these songs that are new, even to him. “I knew the last record was about worship, because I’d been playing those songs in worship services every week,” Agnew says. “These songs have come along as we’ve been going down the road and talking to people.
“The identity of this record is that it’s music that I care about and topics that are where I’ve been, but as far as what it will really mean to other people, it’s still kind of up in the air. That’s why I’m looking forward to hearing from other people and figuring out what it is.”
If the feedback Agnew received from his debut, which sold more than 150,000 units and produced the hit singles “This Fragile Breath (The Thunder Song)” and “Grace Like Rain”, is any indication, he’ll have plenty of willing participants ready to help him craft opinions.
It’s that communication, that one-on-one contact, on which Agnew thrives, because he’s still trying to determine what it means to operate in this business of music. “I’m probably a lot different than a lot of guys with their second record, because the first record was an accident,” Agnew says. “I didn’t spend my entire life writing songs for that first record; it was just the songs I was writing at the time.”
When Agnew went into Memphis’ famed Ardent Studios with producer John Hampton (Gin Blossoms, North Mississippi All Stars) after spending the better part of the past 18 months touring all over the country, he knew it would be a vastly different experience than the creation of his previous record. “When we were in the studio, we thought, ‘Let’s just call it Sophomore Jinx and get it over with,’” Agnew laughs. “It’s hard to get in there and write new stuff when your whole life is turned upside down. Every way that you’ve built your creative process is gone. The way you learn is gone, the way you write is gone, the way you sleep is gone; everything has changed and you have to learn how to operate under this new system.
“As I was looking at it, I realized we needed to stay true to what we had done so far, and so with that idea, this album is somewhat a reflection of the first one, but not a copy,” he continues. “When I realized that, I had to figure out what it means to be Todd Agnew, the artist. Because the thing was, I’d never really cared before. Even when people would ask me, I’d say, ‘It doesn’t matter; this is about Christ. That’s why I do it.’”
Source: Ardent Records