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Chris DuPont explores faith and spirituality in new album

HMN Photography

A year ago, Ypsilanti singer-songwriter Chris DuPont found himself coping with depression and questioning his faith.

DuPont spoke with Michigan Radio's Mercedes Mejia about his renewed outlook on life and the stories that inspired his new album, Outlier.

DuPont is also the music director at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ypsilanti. 

Holding it Together

Holding it Together was actually the song that started the process of the album. I went through a period of being very quiet and actually not being able to express what was going on in my mind or heart. And my wife keep asking me, 'What's going on with you? I want to know.' And I had no real response. And I usually write songs very, very slowly, and this one I just sat down at the piano for 10 minutes and said what I've been trying to say, and it just kind of started the process of this new body of work.

Becoming a father

Having a kid, little Leo, that definitely changed my outlook on a lot things – faith, spirituality, my own struggles. I think knowing he was coming kind of put a lot of urgency on me speaking about these things and coping with them and sorting them out, because there's this big fear of – here's this other human being coming into the world and I don't want to mess him up. I want to have answers for him.

On Pope Francis

I think what's cool about him is that people on every side of social issues are really identifying with him and seeing that he really means what he says. And I think he's a really good example of what a good Christian is supposed to be. He's not trying to die on the hill of a culture war, he's really trying to change the world and speak up for the marginalized.  I think people in my generation can identify with that and can really stand behind it. 

Afraid of turning people away

Yes, I am afraid, mainly become I know from personal experience that people have been hurt by organized religion. I know I have ... I never bring it up unless people ask about it, but I'm sure in some of the songs people can identify that there's something belief-wise going on with me. But it's definitely my hope that it's a safe place and that they know I have questions just like they do.

Two sides of the coin

There's Antiphon, which is this kind of cathartic hallelujah piece that's sort of about hope and making peace with and looking forward to the world being made new again. And then there's Cut the Tie, which is just a very kind of angry song about expressing burning bridges with bridge builders if you will, and I think those two sides of the coin coinciding on the record kind of help show that dichotomy in me. 

Chris DuPont's CD release show is Oct. 2 at Towsley Auditorium in Ann Arbor. 

Mercedes Mejia is a producer and director of Stateside.
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