Imagine if you will, being 19 years old and having recently graduated from high school. A Christian high school and having grown up going to church two or three times a week and being from a Christian home. And now you find yourself at a secular college surrounded by folks whose beliefs are far different from your own. In classes where traditional Christian beliefs are routinely disregarded and mocked. How might you respond? That is the situation I had found myself in.
My first semester at college was pretty normal I suppose. But in my second semester I had professors that were openly hostile towards Christianity. And me being totally new to that sort of environment it was difficult to deal with. But it was out of that time in my life that I wrote the words that became the chorus of Paths Unseen. Once I had written them it felt like a burden had been lifted. Like I was just free to be myself and I didn’t care at all what other students or professors thought of me. By that time I had already decided to leave the college and I almost regretted it then because I felt more free and I was having more fun than I had at any point up till then attending there.
Several years later when my band CrewmanNumber7 was playing a lot of shows and had just recorded our album, I wrote what would become the verses of Paths Unseen and the music for it. The band played it at pretty much every show but we never got a chance to record it before we broke up. So fast forward more than 10 years after that and I still believed in the song and wanted to record it for the Brave Machine album. I rewrote some of the lyrics on the verses and added some additional lines to them. I also wrote a second bridge and new ending to the song. Paths Unseen is about surrendering my will to God’s and living the life He has called me to even in difficult environments.
Past Unseen wasn’t the first song I got started on when recording this album but it was one of the first ones that I had finished up most of the work on. Joe Wenger contributed some background vocals and he had recorded some of the guitars on the original demo, but I’m not sure any of those guitar tracks survived the full production process. Harvey Marples mixed this one as he did with several others on the album.
When I look back at a lot of my older songs, not all of them stand up too well today. Some of them are very cheesy and I wouldn’t want anyone to hear them. Some of them I think I still think are great and I would like to get them recorded at some point. And that was the case with Paths Unseen and I’m glad that I was able to get it onto this album.
Next song: Flirting With Disaster