Last year may not have felt like a year to take a leap of faith, but for singer-songwriter Chris DuPont, a perfect storm of change converged leading him to leave behind a day job and pursue music full-time.
“I decided to just take a leap of faith at possibly the stupidest possible time. But it seems to have worked okay,” DuPont said.
It also was the year he hatched a sumptuous new record that packs atmospheric soundscapes with all the pent-up feelings of emotional transitions and spiritual crisis. The album is called "Floodplains."
DuPont's day job as a music minister at a church in Washetenaw County ended after the pandemic hit. Perhaps a blessing in disguise because while working there he felt limited creatively.
“[I was] watching my language once a week on Sundays and then, you know, being my musician-self on Fridays and Saturdays,” DuPont said. “My faith background has always had a mark on the way that I speak and process the world and the music that I write. But I've never felt comfortable writing music that could be used in church per se.”
"Floodplains" is a reflection of many changes that occured in DuPont’s life the last few years. While he was writing the album, he was reckoning with turmoil in his faith community— both within his church and the larger homogenous group of Christians in the nation.
“And just from a passenger's seat view, it's very strange being someone who, you know, plays church music for a living and has seen certain scary political movements get sort of equated with American Christianity,” DuPont said.
Lyrically, DuPont leans into deeply personal experiences and doesn’t shy away from questioning his own beliefs. "I definitely try to sit more with pain and doubt and agnosticism because that's just as much a part of faith as anything else. I think faith that's certain, is kind of fake," he said.
Ultimately, he wants his music to be a comfort for those moving through difficult times in their lives and to inspire processing and healing for listeners.
“I went far more autobiographical, far more raw, while also coopting more biblical imagery than I normally would to sort of suit my agenda,” DuPont said. “I want to take the listener along with me through darker things, frankly, through pain and through sort of those moments where your head hits the pillow on a sleepless night, you know, and that's that's sort of what I tended to find myself gravitating to more heavily, especially lately.”
Support for arts and culture coverage on Stateside comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
This post was written by Stateside production assistant Catherine Nouhan