Sparrow Records is blasting beyond the walls of Christian pop into the realm of alterna-pop! While more well known for artists like Steven Curtis Chapman or Susan Ashton, Sparrow's foray into the world of alternative first graced us with {{Deliriou5?}} and now {{Chasing Furies}}.

Join us for a brief interview with the band and a complete song-by-song explanation of their debut project ==With Abandon==.

WHERE DID THE NAME "CHASING FURIES" COME FROM?

Sarah: The name "{{Chasing Furies}}" was half inspired by C.S. Lewis and half inspired by a song lyric. We really admire a band called Over The Rhine and "furies" came from a line in one of their songs. The word "fury" really caught my attention. The "chasing" part was inspired by a letter C.S. Lewis wrote where he was taking about a writer's duty to capture an emotion for a reader and the fact that how good of a writer you are depends on how well that reader feels that emotion. "Chasing" is also a great description of how we are to be in this life - chasing and pursuing our dreams and important moments in life.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

Rachel: We grew up around music our entire lives. Our father was a music minister at our church, but it wasn't until November of 1996 that Sarah began writing songs - and actually didn't tell any of us she was doing it!. We formed a band and the following April we began doing some "open mike" nights at a coffeehouse in Boulder where we continued to get invited back. We heard about the Christian Artist Seminar in Colorado and decided to enter. We actually placed second in the band competition and Sarah placed second in the songwriting competition, which lead to us getting a record deal with Sparrow! And less than 2 years after Sarah wrote her first song, we had a record out.

WHY DID YOU SIGN WITH A CHRISTIAN AND NOT A MAINSTREAM LABEL?

Josh: At first, we thought we only wanted to be on a mainstream label. That was the only way that we thought we could reach the kids we wanted to - one's who would never go into a Christian record store or ever darken the door of a church. But after meeting with Sparrow, we felt they offered a strong foundation of support so we can go out to minister where God wants us to. We also want to connect with the Christian audiences, especially the youth, to equip them to be able to share their faith with their peers.

WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CONNECT SO WELL WITH YOUTH?

Sarah: Dressing the way that we do seems to be the open door for us to start conversations with kids who would shy away from people who had a more "conservative" look. As Christians we are called upon not to judge others. In 1 Corinthians 9:22 it says, "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some." Paul is talking about how they adapted to the practices of people around them to win them over.

We recently had a woman come up to us who said, "The other day I saw a girl at a gas station that was dressed the way you do, and I immediately thought "poor girl, how can anyone reach her, she's too far gone." But after seeing you, I realize that you are exactly the ones who can reach her."

WITH ABANDON: Song-By-Song

When Sarah Meeker first tried her hand at songwriting, she says she felt "silly" - up to that point, brother Josh Meeker was the family songsmith, and she lacked confidence in her abilities. Still, it was a release of emotions she felt compelled to explore. Now, Sarah is the primary songwriter in Chasing Furies.

Thicker
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

This song wasn't originally intended to be on the album, so the recording was remarkably relaxed. "There was so little pressure, we were able to do whatever we wanted with it," says Sarah. "A lot of times as Christians we'll see people that will walk with the Lord and how easily they can be swayed back to their old ways by Satan's deceit," she explains. "It's so hard for us as Christians to watch this happen and only be able to do so much for them. We can encourage them and pray for them, but ultimately, they have to make their own choice."

Throw Me
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

"This song was written toward the beginning of our adventures in signing with a record company. I was being swept up in everything that was going on, not knowing where life was leading. I felt like I was being pulled or tugged around. It says in the chorus, 'I don't look at you when the light is shining.' That's talking about how a lot of times we don't feel like going to the Lord until we feel overwhelmed. The wonderful thing about that is, the Lord is faithful in our faithlessness. He will come to us, even though a lot of times we don't come to him until the last minute when there's no option."

I Would Drown
Words & music by Joshua Meeker

This was originally a worship song the Meekers sang in church. Sarah says it's the one song she's always wished she had written. "I think it's got one of the most wonderful lines, 'I would drown to be alive in you,'" she says. "It talks about how the Lord is so magnificent, that we would give up everything - we would drown to be alive in him, because there's no other option really. I love that song! I've told Josh a million times I wish I had written it."

Fair Night's Longing
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

"I believe as Christians we have an 'aroma of the Lord' about us. A lot of times when we're around non-Christians there's something that draws them, and I think it's the sweet smell of the Lord on us. They'll be drawn to us and drawn to the Lord. All we have to do is listen to him and he'll direct us in talking to them about him."

Enchanted
Words by Sarah Meeker, music by Joshua Meeker

This song came in a moment of surrender. The Meekers, one song short of completing their first album, were struggling with the pressure they felt to write the perfect final song. "The record label was asking us to write with other people to see if we could come up with the last song, and we really wanted to do it all on our own," Sarah recalls. "One day I finally said, 'You know, Josh, if the Lord wants us to write this song, he will let it happen.' He was goofing off on the guitar, and the song kind of just came out."

I Surrender
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

"There were a lot of different things I was going through when I wrote this song. I was thinking about how you have to come to the point where you just can't do things on your own, you have to surrender and give them up, because that's when the Lord can work through you."

Romance Me
Words & music by Joshua Meeker

Josh wrote this song for his wife, Robin, after they got married. "I remember reading an article in which someone was complaining about Christian music not having enough love songs, because it's so hard for Christian artists to write a love song that's acceptable in people's eyes," says Sarah. "A lot of times Christian artists have to go to the secular market to find love songs. I think this song is such a wonderful song for Christians to have."

Writhe For Hearing
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

"Pulling away and running away are two faults I tend to fall back on. A lot of times I will run away from things I don't want to deal with, and it will end up getting me in a bigger mess. In the song I confront these two things as if they are people, to let them know I writhe for hearing, lunge for seeing."

Nothing
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

This song features some unusual accompaniment - cicadas. Deafening swarms of these insects descend on Nashville every 12 years, and the phenomenon wreaked havoc on recording studios all over town. The buzzing was so loud, Sarah wasn't able to record any vocals during the day. "They'd send me out on little errands during the day; then we'd come back at night and that's when I'd do the vocals." Producer Monroe Jones decided to include a tribute to the city's six-legged visitors on this song.

As for the message, says Sarah, "It's talking about how in life we go through so many things. Everything that I go through always leads back to: with the Lord or nothing."

Whisper Softly
Words by Sarah Meeker & Joshua Meeker, music by Sarah Meeker

"This was written after I had a wonderful time with the Lord. I was thinking about and looking forward to the time when I can be in heaven and walking with the Lord, and how hard it must be for the father to sit up there and wait for us to choose him. I was thinking about when I got to heaven what it would be like when the realization came to me, you are mine, you are mine."

Wait Forever
Words & music by Sarah Meeker

This song was inspired by the C.S. Lewis book, 'Til We Have Faces. "The book talks about how some people will become Christians and other people won't see it - they'll think their Christian friends are going crazy or being deceived. The song says, right here look at my face, does it not look the same as before? Sometimes when someone becomes a Christian, it will be like a death to non-Christians, because they will feel like they've lost somebody, they can't relate.


For the full bio and listening room, check out Chasing Furies' At a Glance page now!