On his latest single, Revival in Lincoln, Graeme Kennedy explores faiths and futures as seen through the eyes of a fictional pulpiteer.
Graeme Kennedy doesn’t write throwaway songs. There is nothing in his catalogue that could be described as passing or transitional. Each new track he releases is drenched in honesty. He means what he says – wholeheartedly – and it’s this integrity that makes each new release worth taking note of, worth turning off the lights for, worth dedicating the time required to play each song front to back, sometimes more than once in a single sitting.
Today Kennedy shares Revival in Lincoln, his second new song of 2020 following the May release of his heartwarming look at companionship, High Ceilings.
Revival in Lincoln tells a story of an evangelical preacher looking back on their life, trying to come to terms with the present. It’s a story of triumph and failure, of societal shifts and how we all, at times, feel like things are going our way until they’re not. Like many of Kennedy’s songs, he’s asking us a question that could be answered a hundred different ways.
“Revival in Lincoln is a fictional tale, inspired by a sign on the side of the road in a town with a singable name, and informed by my years spent roaming the back halls of a church my father pastored,” says Kennedy. “I don’t pretend to know the church in Lincoln, but I know a thing or two about church in general. It turns out, they’re a lot like the people that run them.”
The song’s grim foreshadowing is heightened by Kennedy’s simple walking melody that shifts in key without ever breaking direction, much like the character he’s singing about, with Michael Feuerstack’s pedal steel adding to the song’s dark dreamstate reflection.
Revival in Lincoln is another beautiful track from Kennedy’s most recent session with engineer and producer Shawn Bradley, a pairing that has yet to disappoint.