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Adult Contemporary

The Longing

Indelible Creative Group

We’ll tell the world of you,
Your infinite grace, your furious love,
We’ll tell the world of you.
— The Longing

It’s a promise uttered from a heart bowed beneath the bigness of God. And on The Longing’s self-titled debut, accomplished songwriter Jason Ingram motions us to come forward and share those moments in a powerful one-on-one meeting with God.

Intuitive melodies, compelling vocals and sophisticated musicianship set The Longing apart from other groups within its genre, introducing listeners to an expanded palette of reflective music. Woven throughout each song is an honesty that reflects Ingram’s desire to lead others to “the place” where brokenness brings grace, and humility makes way for God’s inconceivable goodness.

“Every song on this album grew from a broken and contrite heart,” says Ingram. “Over the years, I’ve become more aware of my absolute inadequacy to approach God, much less lead others there. What’s amazing is how God accepts our worship, broken as it may be, and actually delights in it. That truth leaves me with a longing to create something beautiful for Him.”

The Christian music industry knows Ingram well. In the past several years, he’s made his mark as a gifted songwriter composing dozens of hits for top artists such as Joy Williams, Rebecca St. James, Building 429, Salvador and Avalon, among others. He’s also served as a worship leader for more than 10 years, leading music at events, churches and conferences nationwide. Some know Jason as the son of Pastor Chip Ingram, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and CEO of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries.

But in 2003, after years of performing and writing, God whispered and Ingram stopped. He pulled his life over, got quiet and listened. Internal struggle defined the season to come, but the metamorphosis that occurred while Ingram pursued God’s heart was redefining. Through a number of experiences, God lovingly taught Ingram to find his sole identity not in personal attributes but in Christ.

During that time, God’s grace hit shades of amazing that left Ingram speechless.

Ingram emerged stronger with new relationships and a band called The Longing. From day one, their hearts were in sync. Calling on three additional musicians whose credits include a range of touring, production and studio work, the band also comprises guitarist Dave May (ZoeGirl, Stacie Orrico, David Crowder Band), drummer Matt King (Watermark, Matt Redman, Passion ’06), and bassist Jono Brymer (Vicki Beeching). Each member felt a corresponding call to bring their gifts home and serve the local church.

“The vision of The Longing belongs to God,” says Ingram. “Our desire is to reach God’s ears — to please Him with our offering. If the music moves others to do the same, that too, will be God’s hand. Our dedication is not to the band, the music or any kind of vision. Our dedication is to Jesus; our vision, His vision.”

The Longing shares its vision with label home Indelible Creative Group, whose mission is to serve God through creating remarkable products. Ingram comments on the partnership, “In the music business, there is always this delicate balance between commerce and art. As Christians, we’ve added Jesus to the equation. However, Jesus must not be added as a third tier to the balancing act, but He should be the only point under which good art and commerce serve. Indelible gets this. I’m humbled to be in partnership with people who pursue Christ’s heart and use their resources, relationships, and expertise to draw as many as possible to that same end.”

Dove Award-winner and Grammy Award nominee Tom Laune (Michael W. Smith, Nichole Nordeman, Rich Mullins, Matt Redman, Jeremy Camp, Chris Rice, Amy Grant) produced The Longing’s May 2006 debut. He, alongside Ingram, helped to define the band’s musical styling, a sound that is raw and modern with European influences. To temper the “slick” quotient and preserve emotional integrity of the songs, most tracks were cut live with everyone together in-studio.

Lyrically, the project contains a message to match its sonic candor. “Unleashed” reflects Ingram’s views of church culture in America as well as his own personal worship. He believes that with the powerful movement of congregations toward incorporating song into weekly gatherings has come a disconnect between the worshipper and to whom they sing. “Unleashed” begs the question: If God indeed inhabits the praise of His people, what does that look like?

“I don’t know,” says Ingram. “I only know I’ve become too comfortable. This song reminds me that engaging the King of the universe is not something I want to take lightly. It is a scary thing to request that God unleash Himself on us, but I pray that when we do, we will encounter Him in ways that will call us to a greater sense of reverence.”

“We’ll Tell the World” echoes the aforementioned sentiment of avoiding complacency and living whole-heartedly for Christ. Unabashed lyrics and guitar-driven verses serve as the backdrop of a rockin’ call to deliver life to a dying world. The song reminds listeners that there is no drawing back, no shrinking in fear when it comes to communicating God’s love. “We are ‘the bought and paid for,’” comments Ingram, “and that distinction produces a wild gratitude that’s impossible to silence.”

The project additionally focuses heavily on themes of brokenness and redemption. An affecting intercession and cry for rescue, “Heal This Land,” the record’s debut single, offers commentary on our fallen condition, bearing witness to God’s tender mercies in the midst of suffering. “My Offering” is a track that sees beyond the hurdles of fear, doubt, pride and weakness. It captures the ache of intimate confession, the wide-open moment that a contrite heart caves in beneath God’s majesty and authority. Conversely, stand-out anthem “Salvation Song,” sings of the energy, creativity and passion that consume those touched by Christ’s unmistakable saving grace.

“Our hearts—that’s all God wants,” says Ingram. “With everything the Lord has placed on the banquet table, we lay surrendered hearts down next to that sacrifice.” Such was the inspiration for “Here’s My Heart,” a thoughtful hymn honoring God’s sacrifice, sovereignty, and selfless love that defines Him.

Ingram sums up The Longing’s origin, goal and purpose by saying, “There’s a longing in every heart to push past daily life to that settled place where the most natural, instinctive thing is to sing love songs to God. The Bible is full of stories about people desperate for God’s presence, and it was in those moments that they sang. Nothing’s changed. This album, and the reason for The Longing, reflects a desire to live in that place where we can experience God in intimate, life-changing ways.”


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