January Journal

I wrote a song a day for a month, to see what would be unearthed, but also to challenge myself creatively...what would it take to get into writing head-space on a daily basis? To approach the Spirit who gives voice and melody in all things every day for sustenance and partnership?

Some of these songs were done within twenty minutes, some took a couple of hours. Some I would put on any record, produced out with thick instrumentation, some I would throw into a folder never to be seen till I’m an old man, bored and needing to remember. But here they all are for you...

*This package includes a lovely digital booklet with lyrics, notes, and photographs.

**Pre-Order saves some dollars.

***Full track listing when you click on album art.



Birds

"Strumpel's previous album, Elephants, was a thundering take on the Psalms; his new one, Birds, is a creature of another kind. This acoustic affair is nimble and light on its feet, but, if anything, even more tempestuous than its predecessor, a gloriously disheveled affair where hoarse vocals, furiously strummed guitars, and primal trumpet blasts meet in a kind of holy hoedown, the messy nature of the performances perfectly conjuring the spirit of the songs. Here, Strumpel takes inspiration from throughout Scripture—and from Song of Solomon, in particular—to bear witness to the chaos and confusion of earthly life, and remind us of the hope and healing we find in our Lover." - Josh Hurst, Christianity Today

***Full track listing when you click on album art.



Vespers

Andy Whitman of Christianity Today reviews: "Aaron Strumpel worships as if his life is hanging in the balance. Like his breakthrough 2008 album Elephants, Vespers mostly borrows its lyrics from the Psalms and its sound from a raw mix of strident folk, wailing trumpet, and clattering percussion. As befitting its title, this six-song EP is slightly more quiet and contemplative, but it is no less visceral or moving. "Born Again" builds to a glorious crescendo of praise, while "I Sing" moves from a pensive piano ballad expressing fear and doubt to a nearly symphonic plea for God to storm a hardened heart. These are urgent prayers for the close of day."

There is a tenderness in the water of the heart, a vulnerability of sanity, a mere film separating joy and sadness...these songs were written on afternoons when everything seemed to close in, beauty felt like ashes, when all that was left was to sink deeper and deeper...

Written on two separate days, on a creaky old 1940′s Parlor guitar, spending about an hour each day, a chronicle of the heart and thoughts put into songs and evening prayers.

Each half was recorded in a 24 hour period of time, everything being performed by Aaron, the main instruments being an old Harmony Bobkat, a 1940's Collegiate Parlor guitar, a 1972 Rhodes 73, a Chickering Baby Grand, a 1970's Ludwig kick drum, snare, and floor tom, a set of tire chains, a string of Arabian wedding bells, and cookie sheets scraped along a bicycle chain.

***Full track listing when you click on album art.



Elephants

Elephants won Calvin College's 2009 Festival of Faith and Art's Bandspotting Competition: "This is the clear winner. The singing is heartfelt, honest and highly unique…a voice of earnest longing. The production is highly original and simultaneously melodic and aggressive when need be. It is rare that I hear such clearly communicated Gospel music that is soulful, articulate and adventurous." -Michael Kaufmann, Asthmatic Kitty Records and Andy Whitman, Paste Magazine and Christianity Today.

“The album title is fitting as most tracks are interlaced with deep drum stomps, rough-skinned backing loops and Aaron’s own trumpet. The sound is experimental, but with purpose, folk rock based but uniquely integrated with a variety of instrumentation; it carries an element of abstraction to it with soul that bleeds through the vocals...and with the strength of an Elephant, you were going to be moved whether you originally wanted to or not.” -Justin Boyer, Relevant Magazine

"'Elephants' is an acoustic smorgasbord of spiritual musings with prophetic and operatic overtones that insist on being listened to again and again to be fully understood and appreciated. There is weeping and wailing-- literally--amidst shouts and cries of joy." -Kris Rasmussen, Beliefnet

***Full track listing when you click on album art.



Enter the Worship Circle - Chair & Microphone Volume 2

This is the second album in a unique volume within the greater Worship Circle series. It is a raw recording of one artist and one instrument with no overdubs and no polished studio production. The goal is to let the artist be both accessible and vulnerable. This recording is an unapologetic conversation with God, and it has the power to lead the listener on a journey to protest, adore, discover, and relocate inside of that conversation. Musically, it might be compared to artists like Damien Rice or Ryan Adams, but it would be wise to listen to Aaron with new ears--there is no one quite like him.

***Full track listing when you click on album art.



Enter the Worship Circle - Fourth Circle

The Fourth Circle enters the Enter The Worship Circle family in keeping with the heart of the very first release in 1999. The sounds of this album range from tender ballad, to bluegrass hoedown, to road-house rock, to gypsy jam band. The word on the street is that it is Ben's favorite recording of all time, and that it features more energy and more family boogity, boogity than any other Worship Circle album. No overdubs, no studio retakes...we just hit record and start worshiping! The songs are birthed by meditating in the Psalms and entering the ancient conversation, and then we begin to unfold our own personal conversation with the Father. You can do this, too. For the sake of your own Divine love life, and for the sake of those you love...go write and share some new songs. Let's share what little we have with those we love. // Recorded by Ben Pasley and David Wilton in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mixed and mastered by Ben Pasley in Woodland Park, Colorado. All songs written and performed by Aaron Strumpel, Karla Adolphe, Caleb Friesen, Ben and Robin Pasley, and Tim and Laurie Thornton on instruments like the violin, viola, mandolin, bazooki, guitar, twelve string, baritone, harmonica, glockenspiel, kalimba, cajon, bombo, inverted kick, djembe, udu, and anything else laying around that could be beaten or shaken in time. Guest vocals, stomping, clapping and crying by David and Ally Wilton, Gary Adolphe, Laura McGladrey Griebling, and Ellie Thornton. Design: Boyd Dupree, Todd Berger.

$9.99 - Digital

"A gloriously disheveled affair…a holy hoedown!"

- Christianity Today on Birds

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"Huge…Emotion-Soaked…Dreamy…Driving"

- Relevant Magazine on Birds

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Relevant's 2010 Top 25 Christmas Song - "Predictably, great!"

- Relevant Magazine on Christmas!

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"Aaron Strumpel worships as if his life is hanging in the balance."

- Christianity Today on Vespers I & II

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"5 Stars" and "A stunning achievement."

- Christianity Today on Elephants

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"...refuses to be tamed and gives you something to ruminate on during and after the listening experience."

- Relevant Magazine on Elephants

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"Utterly striking and original, Strumpel's music accentuates the soul in both the music and the words."

- Paste Magazine on Elephants

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"And to say authentic is to understate Strumpel. He feels as real as the dust that layers your arms when you've spent the day playing soccer with children in an orphanage in Mexico, complete with the pain that sticks to your heart."

— Worship Leader Magazine - On Enter The Worship Circle: Chair & Microphone II

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"Strumpel's passionate, percussive playing, slam-poet phrasing, and raspy, unrestrained delivery add an edge that nudges the conversation from merely interesting to incredibly engaging."

— Phantom Tollbooth on Enter The Worship Circle: Chair & Microphone II

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"Raw acoustic, honest lyrics, soulful voice with and a gritty edginess that comes from letting your heart bleed into your art."

— The Porpoise Diving Life on Enter The Worship Circle: Chair & Microphone II

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