Music at Mars Hill is a weekly column by Luke Larsen that seeks to find God amidst the newest trends in both mainstream music and independent music.

The process of growing up is one we all experience in different ways at different times in our lives. I’ve observed in my own life, especially as I grow older and more mature, there often has been a conflict between who I was and what I believed as an adolescent and what I am to be and believe now. For me, this conflict has often shown up and made itself known in how I experience music that I am currently listening to.

When I first started listening to M83’s newest album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, I could clearly sense that struggle within me in how I was reacting to the album. In many ways, I’ve come to see Hurry Up, Were Dreaming as being similar to a classic animated Disney or Pixar film. It never hides the fact that is trying its hardest to charm you and even uses its fair share of cliches along the way. There’s always that star-crossed love story; its no different in Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. The moments of spoken word (like in the track “Raconte-Moi Histoire”), the huge length (its a double album), the unapologetic “epic”-ness of the arrangements: it all wreaks of overwrought ambition. However, somewhere between the Disney-like magic and childlike sincerity, the album totally pulls it off and makes it hard for me to discount.

Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a huge album sonically that allows for plenty of space to dive into its world. The music is inspired by the best of musicians and artists with similar intentions, whether it’s U2, New Order, or even Phil Collins. With its lyrics spanning broad themes like love, dreams, and childhood, the music can’t help but feel like an open invitation to let go a little . . . to dream and aspire . . . to engage with your inner child.

I found that the more I dug into the album, the more Hurry Up was encouraging that side of me that still believed in love, saw God in  everything, was enchanted by the sunset and the stars and everything bigger than myself, and believed that our lives could mean something; the side of our innocence and adolescence that we were never meant to leave behind. I’ve found that if I can suspend my sense of cynicism for just a moment, music like Hurry Up has the ability to capture my imagination again, no different than in a film like WALL-E or The Lion King. As silly as it may sound, it turns out it’s not much different in this thing we call “reality.” There will always be plenty of reasons to be cynical (and sometimes even good reasons). It’s just a matter of how you see things, or in this case, how you hear them.


(Yeah, this video’s a little creepy.)