Release Date: September 1st 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Shine Like Gold (Single)
“…We can’t imagine what everyone is going through right now in Houston, but they’ve all been in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to playing this show, standing alongside this amazing city and doing everything in our power to help. Jon and I started writing ‘Shine Like Gold’ at the beginning of this tour, but it wasn’t until we recorded it in Nashville that we really knew what it was about. Seeing all of these amazing individuals who’ve sacrifice for their neighbors and stepped up in the face of extreme hardship has been so inspiring. This song is for them. All of the proceeds from this song are going to Houston for the unsung heroes that do the right thing when no one is watching. All the love…” Can you imagine a natural disaster so great that it sweeps through your home and destroys everything? Your photos, your furniture, your appliances, your bed, your TV, your laptop, and everything else? All of it is gone except for yourself and your loved ones. You would be grateful that no one was hurt, that no one died, yet there’d be a feeling of lament, of sadness, that you’d have to start from scratch again. Weather and disasters are unrelenting, and sometimes we think that tornadoes or hurricanes or floods or fire won’t happen wherever we live, however for the people of Houston just over a year ago, that’s what exactly happened. Hurricane Harvey swept through everything and in its wake left no stone unturned. I’m not really sure if there were any fatalities, however on that fateful day, it was evident that though the people had a spirit so resilient that it was admirable, everyone else had a responsibility- to help in any tangible way possible. Remember Hurricane Katrina in 2008. Well you could unofficially call Hurricane Harvey ‘Hurricane Katrina Part II’!
Enter in Switchfoot and Lifehouse. Both well respected and popular bands. Both with a big heart for social justice. And both with a calling to do something greater beyond themselves. In September last year this calling included creating a song together called “Shine Like Gold”. It’s an inspirational pop song led by stirring guitars and keys, that speaks about the courage of the human spirit, as we are presented with the ever true notion that ‘…you shine like gold, you shine like gold, and your soul was born to shine like a spark, in the night, and the dark can’t hide your glow…’– the song is as magical, poignant and impacting as any other song I’ve heard in the past few years; and given that all proceeds went to victims of Hurricane Harvey, and the song wasn’t even (and still isn’t) available for purchase on any digital outlets (just on the website, for a time!), makes Jon Foreman and Jason Wade’s collaboration all the more important and meaningful. Though I am late to the party in reviewing the track (a year too late, but I must confess that I totally forgot about this track until a few days ago when the lyric video was recommended to me on Youtube!); “Shine Like Gold” is nonetheless still needed in today’s culture. Even though the people affected by Hurricane Harvey did receive some support from others around them, and some proceeds given to them were from people downloading the song on Switchfoot’s website; that doesn’t mean that the song’s power doesn’t diminish. Rather, I reckon it increases, as we remember that all of us are special and shine like gold. Every life is valuable, thus I’d like to think that whenever there is a crisis, we all do our bit to help, given that we can empathise with our fellow man, doing to others what we would have them do to us in that same situation.
“…Jason and I had always talked about writing a song together. When it finally happened, ‘Shine Like Gold’ became a song about everyday heroes fighting their way through the darkness toward the light. On the day we recorded the song, Hurricane Harvey began wreaking havoc in Texas. Sometimes you don’t know what a song is for until after its written. In this case it became crystal clear. As we watched our friends and family in Texas struggle through the aftermath of the hurricane, we knew exactly what we had to do…” So there you have it, Switchfoot and Lifehouse recording a song together- one that will stay with us and impact us all for a very long time, as we remember that we all can join together and fight adversity whenever the situation arises. With “Shine Like Gold” serving as an encouragement to all of us that we all are worthy and are important in the eyes of our loved ones, this track is more than enough to ponder over as we wait for Switchfoot to announce their comeback single/new announcement post in just over a week. So what are you all waiting for? Time to crank up the volume to 11, and sing along with Jon, Jason and their friends- loud and clear for all to hear- that we shine like gold all the time, no matter if we believe it or not!
RIYL: Daughtry, Third Day, Needtobreathe, Relient K, Zach Williams, Paramore, Tori Kelly