Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman’s big inspirations fall decidedly outside the music business. He looks to Søren Kierkegaard, C.S. Lewis, Jack Kerouac, and Isaac Newton’s law of gravity for creative juice.
The latest album from his San Diego-based band, Oh! Gravity, continues the string of Foreman-influenced lyrical masterpieces. There are the playful yet dead-on political songs, like the title track, while the more direct “American Dream,” with the lyrics “I want to live and die for bigger things,” provides the album’s central thesis. The passionate quintet aim their writing chops at dead cultural perspectives on the track “Circles,” which looks into the futile repercussions of our selfish quests, powerfully exemplifying our vanity with a swirl of sophisticated sound and percolating rhythms.
Switchfoot put some action behind their ideals, promoting causes such as Bono’s The One campaign, Invisible Children, and To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Jamie Tworkowski, founder of TWLOHA, wrote a story about a 19-year-old woman, Renee Yohe, who struggled with these issues, but was able to overcome her problems with the help of others. Tworkowski believes “a song can go places a conversation often can’t,” and Switchfoot’s “Love Is a Movement” was one of the songs that inspired TWLOHA.
Switchfoot sings about real pain and loss with underlying seeds of hope that can make everything better. Pretty heady stuff for a bunch of goofball surfers. 7pm Thu, Mar 27, $25-$35, Laurie Auditorium, 1 Trinity Place (Trinity University), (210) 999-8117, switchfoot.com.
- Sonya Harvey