Listening Closer: Lucinda Williams’ Lenten Liturgy

Lucinda Williams’ ‘The Ghosts of Highway 20’ works as the perfect soundtrack for an Ash Wednesday liturgy.

Listening Closer: The So-Bright Light and So-Dark Dark of Shearwater’s ‘Jet Plane and Oxbow’

Shearwater’s latest album turns us away from a world that we make to our own liking and toward one that was made for us.

Listening Closer: Why “Strange Fruit” Mattered in 2015 (and Still Matters in 2016)

We cannot hear exactly what “Strange Fruit” meant to those who heard it in the late 1930s, but we can take to heart what it means to us now.

Listening Closer: What I Found “Away in a Manger”

“Away in a Manger” is a song about safety, but it also reminds us of Christ’s compassion for us in difficult hours and on dark roads.

Listening Closer: Psalms for Refugees, Terrorists, and Other Neighbors

We need God’s promises; and in the traditions of all psalmists, they’re easier to hope for if we sing them.

Listening Closer: Laura Marling’s Quest through the Dark

On her new album ‘Short Movie,’ Laura Marling takes listeners with her on a quest to find beauty in places of unsettling darkness and unnerving vulnerability.

Listening Closer: The Innocence Mission Goes on Shining

The Innocence Mission shows us that the more an artist acknowledges and expresses the brokenness we know in this life, the more meaningful her praises of beauty and declarations of hope become.

Listening Closer: “Something Good Is Coming”: An Interview with Andrew Peterson

Jeffrey Overstreet interviews Andrew Peterson about his joyous new album, ‘The Burning Edge of Dawn’.

Listening Closer: The Search for Wonder in Wilco’s ‘Star Wars’

Wilco’s ‘Star Wars’ is an album for believers content with — even excited about — uncertainties.

Listening Closer: Idling Above It All in Courtney Barnett’s “Elevator Operator”

In “Elevator Operator,” Courtney Barnett tells the familiar story of our attempts to rise above life’s petty stresses and regain perspective.

Listening Closer: A 50th Dylanniversary Party

Third in an interview series in which Jeffrey solicits historical insights and personal passion about Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ on its 50th anniversary

Listening Closer: ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ with Joe Henry

This week in Listening Closer, Jeffrey Overstreet interviews Joe Henry about Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home.’

Listening Closer: ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ for a Half Century (with Kate Tempest)

Fifty years after the release of Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home,’ Overstreet interviews Dylan admirers about the artist and the album; this is the first in a three-part series.

Listening Closer: Beauty, Beats, and Blues in the Girlhood

Novelist and rapper, Kate Tempest, and filmmaker, Céline Sciamma, open us up to stories far different from ours in “Theme for Becky” and ‘Girlhood,’ respectively

Listening Closer: Torres and the “New Skin” of Faith

The most interesting correlation between Torres and graduating Seattle Pacific University Scholars is their frequent testimony that, throughout their struggle, they have sustained their faith in Jesus Christ.

Listening Closer: In the Falling Dark, Bruce Cockburn Prays for Fire

In “Lord of the Starfields,” Bruce Cockburn lifts up a prayer that we might find the faith and hope to live redemptively in a world that brings so many down.