behind “The Glad Tidings”

Zac HicksUncategorized2 Comments

The Glad Tidings EP was the vision of the one-man think-tank known as Dave Farmer, foisting his bold ambition upon squeamish me.  I produced it, Gary Welker engineered it, and Josh Davis mixed it.  The result is a slightly haphazard yet fully enjoyable EP made available for free public consumption.  Save track 4, it is in keeping with our vision to set old hymns to new music.

Track 1: Lo He Comes (Christmas Deconstructed Remix)
“Lo He Comes” is one of my personal favorites off The Glad Sound, and it fits all too well on a Christmas EP.  We don’t focus enough on the fact that Christ’s first advent, which is what Christmas celebrates, is intended to instill longing in His second advent, when He comes again in power and glory.  It is a satire piece, set against popular American culture.  I redid the song in a shuffle-beat, indie/electronica style.  Its understated, static vocals, combined with minimalistic accompaniment, bring the text to the fore.  It opens with a montage of popular “American Christmas,” crescendoing into a mass of frenzied sound.  It is juxtaposed with the sarcastic and slightly irreverent one-liner that opens “Lo”:

The Son of Man is coming to town

Compared to “Lo He Comes” on The Glad Sound, this version carries less hope, because I’ve stripped it of its glorious “Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come” climax.  I intend for the text to be conveyed in a light more ominous, perhaps more urgent.  Special kudos to anyone who figures out what I have done with the chimes at the very end of the song.  

Tracks 2 & 3: O Holy Night, There is Room
“O Holy Night” is a simple, text-driven piece.  If you compare it to the vocally virtuosic versions that exist of this song, you will be disappointed.  The vocals are raw, intimate, and reverential, intended to give emphasis to reflecting on the text.  The guitar work is simple and repetitive.  “There is Room” is straight off The Glad Sound, sung beautifully by our own Katy Brumley, and masterfully accompanied by Katie Young.  The string setting was arranged by Nashville great, James Sweeting. :

Track 4: Little Saint Nick
In jarring contrast to the cultural critique in Track 1, we cave to culture in our cover of a Beach Boys Christmas classic.  It is senseless and playful, with our attempt at imitating the pristine, double-voiced Beach Boys’ vocal sound.  We recorded it in mid-November as a group in our church’s choir room, with the halls decked and the bacon frying.  It was a fun morning with Cherry Creek Worship.  Nice job, peeps!  Appearing on this track are:

BGVs: Erick Young, Eric Emeott, Paul Adams
Piano: Katie Young
Electric Guitar: Zac Hicks
Bass & Drums: Todd Johnson
Percussion: Paul Adams, Elaine Epperson, Dave Farmer

The album is our gift to you.  A blessing for your Christmas season! 
Download it now.

2 Comments on “behind “The Glad Tidings””

  1. Re: Track 1- you put the melody from "The Glad Sound" at the end. My guess is that you wanted to convey more subtle text. "He comes from thickest clouds of vice, to clear the mental ray." That’s really a perfect line for Christmas!

    You can’t slip anything past me Hicks.

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