As a listener – it’s tough to miss the joyfulness that leaps out of the songs on Andrew Peterson’s just-released album, The Burning Edge of Dawn. Yet, the artist himself can’t help but marvel at the irony behind that.

It’s funny. It’s ironic to me that the album sounds as joyful as it does because it was written in a really dreary, hopeless season.

I don’t know for sure, but I think that I was dealing with some kind of depression over the last year or two. Some of your listeners may resonate with this feeling of just kind of crying without knowing why you’re crying and feeling a weight of soul that you don’t really understand.

It’s a pretty scary place to be when you feel this overwhelming sadness, but you can’t put your finger on why.

He reflects on some of the factors that brought him to that place.

I was kind of going through – I guess – it was maybe a mid-life transition thing. Last year I turned forty & celebrated my twentieth anniversary of my wife. I finished The Wingfeather Saga, which was a ten year process. My contract was up with my record label so I had to decide whether or not I was going to sign with them and continue making albums with them.

And then – most significantly – my band, the two guys that I toured with for about a decade, we had just reached this point where they were so busy with their own careers that we just couldn’t keep doing it. So we had to make a break – where I was suddenly on the road and nothing was familiar. The musicians I was traveling with weren’t the same – my old friends.

I was just in this weird place where I felt like a lot of things were ending, but I couldn’t see the beginning of anything yet. 

On top of those realities in his life, he also entered the studio to record the album during a rainy, muddy February in Nashville.

And it was in that literal dark season of the year that I was also in a figurative dark season in my life that I walked into the studio to record a bunch of songs about whatever God was teaching me.

And here’s the cool thing. I was able to walk into the depression, and into this kind of overwhelming sadness – all the stuff that I was feeling in my heart.

Then when we recorded the songs and listened back,  I couldn’t stop thinking of how bright the edges of the songs were. You know what I mean? Which is kind of what led me to the album title.

It’s not daylight yet.  The sun has not broken the horizon.  But you can see this new light coming. 

Highlight: The Burning Edge of Dawn

On the Road with Andrew Peterson

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