Angie Goeke — “So I Pray”
Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Angie Goeke’s song “So I Pray,” from her forthcoming album If I Were Honest, due to be available April 29. The single will be released on January 14.
If I Were Honest was produced by Mary Bragg; engineered by Rachael Moore; and mixed and mastered by Eric Fritsch. The song was recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville.
“So I Pray” is Angie Goeke on vocals; Ben Garnett on guitar; Ben Plotnick on violin and viola; and Kaitlyn Raitz on cello.
We chatted with Angie about the song. The song appears just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: What inspired you to write this song? What is the story behind it? What is it about?
Angie Goeke: This song was written in the midst of tons of counseling sessions and deep talks. Waking up each morning, knowing I’d have to trudge through more difficult conversations and memories, became unbearable. I felt so overwhelmed by emotion, yet equally numb to it all. I just didn’t want to continue any of it anymore. For me, my only hope was praying. And even in those prayers, I allowed myself to be honest about feeling unheard and at the end of my rope. It was a defining moment for me, knowing that I was not only being called to a deeper level of honesty with myself, my counselor, and my relationships, but also with God. I think no matter what or who we believe in, if we can’t be honest in our prayers, then what truly is the point?
AH: What was the recording session like for this song? Any stories in particular about recording this song?
AG: This song was initially supposed to appear on my first EP. It was uptempo and had bluegrass vibes. But Mary Bragg suggested slowing it down. I remember recording the first pass of scratch vocals over Ben Garnett’s light picking. A calm settled over me. It felt so right. When I went back into the studio booth for the final vocals later that week, it was late at night. The strings just took me back to that season of life in which the song was written. I felt all the emotions of both desperation and hope at once. In that late night vocal booth, the world disappeared and it felt like magic.
AH: Did the song turn out differently than you expected it to?
AG: Mary Bragg and I had talked ahead of time about slowing it down, so I wasn’t surprised to hear it in the new tempo. Honestly, I don’t know that I had any expectations for it. I knew it was in the capable hands of Mary and the musicians. If anything, I feel as though it turned out exactly like it was meant to be. I am so happy with it.
AH: What do you hope listeners hear in its music and lyrics?
AG: I hope that listeners are able to identify with the feelings of hopelessness and know they aren’t the only ones who struggle. Maybe this song will help them connect with emotions they have trouble expressing. Life can be so heavy, even more so when we try and carry it alone or keep the weight bottled up inside. I hope it is cathartic and healing for them. I want listeners to find reassurance in the fact that even without answers, we can make it out alive because we aren’t alone. We can lean on others, or our faith, or maybe even on a song.
AH: This song is from your forthcoming album. What made you want to release this song into the world before the album comes out?
AG: “So I Pray” is the oldest song on the record and central to why I write songs. It was written during a very transformative time in my life and without this song and the personal growth that came during its creation, I’m not sure I would have ever pursued my dream to write and record. It made sense to just take the plunge by releasing the most vulnerable song first. Kind of a “Here I am, world!” greeting after years of timidly approaching my musical path.
Angie Goeke has written songs of a high vibration with Mary Bragg in the producer’s seat to craft them. This one flows like a gentle spring rain.
Pre-save link: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/angiegoeke/so-i-pray