The song explores the mysteries of death and the virtue of forgiveness.
Will I join with the ocean blue Or run into the savior true And shake hands laughing And walk through the night Straight to the light Holding the love I’ve known in my life And no hard feelings
In a recent post, we spoke about a growing trend in music produced with subtle Christian themes, and today we bring you another prime example, “No Hard Feelings” by the Avett Brothers.
6 Crossover artists with a subtle Christian message
The song, released off their 2016 album True Sadness, is a gentle introspection about coming to the end of one’s life and forgiving all the old grudges, for as they say in the chorus, “Lord knows they haven’t done much good for anyone.” The lyrics are contemplative of the afterlife, written with an earnest yearning to put all bygones aside and find peace through love.
Written in 3/4, the song is a waltz, which is rare in its own right these days. Not only does this give the tune a steady, swaying rhythm — almost like a baby’s crib — but it also makes the song stand out. It captures the listener’s attention immediately with gentle acoustic folk instruments, which gradually fill in with orchestral accompaniment to add more layers of emotion.
The Avett Brothers have found great success in their style, which blends bluegrass, country, punk, pop, rock, and even in some instances ragtime. They draw crowds to music festivals as easily as they can fill Madison Square Garden, and they have been recognized with four Americana Music Honors and three Grammy Award nominations.
In 2017, HBO produced a documentary on the Avett Brothers, May It Last, which captured the band recording True Sadness, which they produced with Rick Rubin, who famously recorded Johnny Cash, Jay Z, the Beastie Boys, and the Dixie Chicks, to name a few.
The film was shot in South Carolina, where the brothers Scott and Seth were born and raised. There the brothers record in an old church. Relevant Magazine had an interview with Michael Bonfiglio, who directed the documentary with Judd Apatow. When asked about their Christian roots, Bonfiglio said:
Scott talks about being baptized by his grandfather and the context of not really having known his grandfather, Clag, but knowing him through his collective sermons. His sermons reveal a really complex and interesting guy … I would certainly say they are people of Christian faith.
Their faith is certainly present in their lyrics, but they also keep it on their mind, and not just the practices. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Scott spoke of drawing influence from Blaise Pascal, when asked how often the band talks about spirituality among themselves:
“Constantly. Constantly. Constantly. We talk about spirituality, politics, sports—but mostly politics and spirituality. Seth is always laughing about how we’ll play a barn burner of a show and Bob and I will stay up for two or three hours just talking about Blaise Pascal or Tolstoy writings. It goes a lot of places.”
The Avett brothers are currently hard at work on their 10th studio album, Closer Than Together. Be on the lookout for more great things in this release, set to drop on October 4th, 2019.