The Musician Who Met a Ghost

Ivan Mesa | October 6, 2016

It’s odd to think of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis in music, but that’s exactly what I do when listening to The Gray Havens. It’s not because their music contains Elvish rhymes or talking beavers, but because it’s laced with imaginative stories, biblical imagery, and echoes of our ultimate home. “The imagination, attention to detail, and authenticity portrayed in The Lord of the Rings is unparalleled,” Dave Radford shared with me last year. “I try to emulate the same kinds of qualities in my songwriting.”

Earlier this year this husband-and-wife duo released a new full-length album, Ghost of a King [iTunes | Bandcamp]. I corresponded with Dave about how a ghost gave shape to the album, how he fights for contentment as an artist, how a longing for Eden is expressed in our lives, and more.

“Met a ghost.” How do these three words give shape to your newest album?

A while back, I recorded a voice memo on my iPhone that started with the words, “Met a ghost.” I saved the recording, went about my life, and found it buried on my phone two years later. At the time, the words didn’t…

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