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One local band has taken a unique approach to the story of Jesus in their new album. 

Manitoba band The Boy & The Sea has released their new, full-length album, titled Common Ghosts. The album takes a unique approach to its songwriting. It tells the story of Jesus, in mostly chronological order, from the perspective of those who met him and spent time with him.

"All of us guys are heavily involved in ministry," said lead singer Mike Burnard. "We want it to be reflected in the band but at the same time, we wanted to stay away from that quote-unquote Christian audience and move into something that's a little more outreach focused."

It's a raw version of the gospel story, starting with King Herod and John the Baptist, going through his ministry years, and finishing with his crucifixion and resurrection. 

"There are these mood shifts you're going to feel in the album," Burnard said. The start, he explained, has a lot of angst and anger towards Christ. The band deals with that emotion from those they serve on a regular basis, which is why they wanted to connect that way.

Though it's a story, Burnard says it doesn't need to be listened to in chronological order. A song like 'Something New' could just be a radio hit about a boy and a girl meeting. But in listening to the full album, you'll gain context for the message.

Album title full of meaning

The title, Common Ghosts, was also picked as a way to reach a wider audience, while still holding a ton of meaning.

"When you look at the story, it's essentially 15 different people who all have one thing in common and that's that they interacted with Jesus," Burnard said.

As for ghosts, he believes our souls have the Holy Spirit when we die. Another name for the Holy Spirit is the Holy Ghost.

"It's intentionally edgy and I think it paints the picture for the album."

"Part of my story"

mike boy seaMike Burnard records his band's newest album (The Boy & The Sea)Burnard says he is still human, and bits of his personal story appear throughout the album. None are more prevalent for him than 'Carry the Light'.

"It's me trying to get into the head of Mary singing to her son Jesus," Burnard said. "But it was also me singing prophetically over my own son, praying that he becomes Christ-like."

Burnard's wife and child almost died during birth, something that can be heard reflected in the lyrics.

But the band doesn't want to only write about their stories. In fact, Burnard says he is tired of writing about himself.

"There are only so many songs you can write about love or frustration," he laughed.

The response has been positive

Though he admits not everyone will love their music, he has received positive reviews, including one youth pastor out in British Columbia. The pastor told The Boy & The Sea that he was using the album as a Bible study. Kids would listen to the song then discuss the story behind it.

"There are really cool glimpses of how it's affecting people that way," Burnard said.

Others who don't know Jesus have asked about the person they are talking about, which has given the band a chance to share the gospel.

The album was released on June 30, 2018. The album release party is happening at the West End Cultural Centre on July 14.

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