BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#194 - "Restless" by Audrey Assad
Audrey Assad talks to NRT's Kevin Davis about divine discontent, the inspiration behind her latest single.

By KevinDavis_NRT

BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #194 -
Audrey Assad: "Even people of faith, if we are completely and soul-searchingly honest, surely must admit that even if we believe, there are some ways in which our hearts are never at rest."
Singer/songwriter Audrey Assad, originally from New Jersey and most recently Florida, weaves her captivating voice into a thread of contemplative yet accessible music and lyrics on her debut release The House You’re Building, one of my top 10 albums of 2010

"A lot of new artists come and go quickly in this business,” says Charlie Lowell of Jars of Clay. “Audrey Assad will not be one of those. She's a refreshing artist--a voice comforting and challenging together. Her melodic sensibilities are infectious, and she communicates God's caring and creative heart in a way that cuts through the day-to-day mess of life. It will be a privilege to share the stage with Audrey, and to watch her grow as an artist over the years."

I got the great opportunity to interview GMA’s Dove Award-nominated new artist and female vocalist of the year Audrey Assad about her current single, “Restless.” 

Please share the background that led you to write the song "Restless."

I co-wrote the song with Matt Maher, and it comes from St. Augustine’s Confessions, in particular his famous line, “our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” We could barely sing it that afternoon without bursting into tears. There’s something about that statement that feels primordial—as though all of humanity has been singing it throughout the centuries in some form or another.

I always point back to U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Even people of faith, if we are completely and soul-searchingly honest, surely must admit that even if we believe, there are some ways in which our hearts are never at rest. This, C.S. Lewis so adeptly explains, must be because we are made for another world. And not only are we made for another world, but we are made for God—created to find our home in Him. He is our first beginning and our last end, and we are restless until we rest in Him. If there’s any song I have that’s relevant to this generation it’s this one. We are so restless and transient and spread across so many social networks. Our relationships have increased in numbers and decreased in depth.

Are there any Bible verses you used in writing the song?

Ecclesiastes 11:7-10: "Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless."

How has that passage and the message of this song been a part of your life? What’s the takeaway message?

“Restless” is a song for today’s younger generation, a group raised in an age of social networking and technology. Each generation has something that reveals the restlessness of the human heart, and I think this transience does that for our generation; it serves a purpose. My restlessness actually addresses that need. It’s a reminder that God should be my first source. Every time I sing these songs, I have to channel my pain and walk through it. That’s been my journey the last few years, learning to believe that and walk in that acceptance of God choosing me. That’s what my journey will probably always be. The first reason I write songs is to preach to myself.

Here are the lyrics:

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the Heavens, rising to Your heart, Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between and frailty and everything You are
You are the keeper of my heart

And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
Oh God, I wanna rest in You

Oh, speak now for my soul is listening
Say that You have saved me, whisper in the dark
'Cause I know You're more than my salvation
Without You I am hopeless, tell me who You are
You are the keeper of my heart
You are the keeper of my heart

And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
I wanna rest in You

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

Still my heart hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow, let it rise
Into a shout, into a cry

And I'm restless, I'm restless
'Til I rest in You, let me rest in You
I'm restless, so restless
'Til I rest in You, 'til I rest in You
Oh God, I will rest in You


Audrey has a phenomenal singing voice that reminds me of the top female vocalists in the business--Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood, Christy Nockels and Adie--which is amazing company, in my opinion. "For Love of You", "The House You're Building", "Restless", "Carry Me" and "Known" are all stand-out songs on this album. I was thrilled to see multiple GMA nominations for new artist and female vocalist for Audrey Assad, my choice for top new artist of the year. I haven't heard an album that has struck me like this album since Albertine by Brooke Fraser. If you like that album, you need to get The House You're Building.

I absolutely love this song and this album. I can’t get enough of Audrey’s singing voice and the incredible and introspective messages of these great songs. I also love that she based this great song on the end of Ecclesiastes, which is very challenging, in particular Chapter 11, verse 9: “You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.”

We all need to remember that Earth isn’t our permanent home and our freedom from the restlessness of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. As we begin this Lenten season, this song has become a personal worship anthem for me to sing daily and remember that this life is “meaningless.” As St. Augustine put it so perfectly, “our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” Amen.
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Posted March 08, 2011 | Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org.

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