New EP! Vespers III & IV!

Vespers III & IV has landed in iTunes!


Quick links:


BandCamp (save a buck, and get extra goodies):

Official Press Release:

Forever spinning and burning, the sun persists on its path through nothingness, throwing heat through the void every morning to warm our world; taking its heat with it when it leaves our skies every evening. We’re left to endure the cold of night, the mystery and fear of darkness, and simply, the other empty, vast side of space. This shift in heat and light is sacred and even with our heaters, lightbulbs, buildings, and comforts, we can feel it, even if only peripherally. Dusk brings us an awareness of mortality, of life ebbing, of loneliness, of need.

For centuries, contemplatives have marked this time of day with prayer services called “vespers,” a celebration of sacred stillness and a recognition of our acute need for God’s proximity. In two sets of three songs, these Vespers III & IV, were written during this time of day, in this frame of mind, in the pursuit of God, in the working out of the day’s consolations and desolations, in the expression of love for the One who calls us out of our cycles and proclivity for isolation and darkness.

This is the second release in a series, the first being Vespers I & II, for which Christianity Today said, “Aaron Strumpel worships as if his life is hanging in the balance.” This second set gives no quarter to comfort or complacency. There is the urgency of the psalmist, the resolution of the pilgrim, and the desperate hunger for sustenance only God can give. It’s a call to keep eyes focused, hearts strong, and feet moving.

Written, performed, and recorded simply by Aaron Strumpel in his studio, Shovel Studios, this record is a lean and rich offering of prayer and supplication. It is a hoping for hope, a hoping for joy, a yearning to love, and a yearning to be loved.

May you, Fellow Pilgrim, find your hopes and dreams, sorrows and joys, whether whispered or shouted, unlocked in the listening. Godspeed on your journey!

A Song to honor Rwanda Twenty Years after the Genocide – FREE DOWNLOAD

One Hundred Days Artwork FINAL small

Twenty years ago this month, Rwanda experienced a horrific genocide while most of the world either watched with detachment or turned away. Last month I traveled to Rwanda on pilgrimage with “Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism,” and the stories of pain and brutality were completely overwhelming.

I wrote this song two days after returning and am releasing it this month to honor Rwanda and hopefully bring conversation around the events of 1994 and what it means to be a connected people, what it means to find reconciliation and healing.

It’s a FREE download on my Bandcamp page and at Noisetrade, both places including an iPhone demo and chart.

Please help spread the word by tweeting, facebook, instagramming, etc.

If you’re an audiophile and you want higher-res audio files, the Bandcamp site is where you want to go – click here..

Click here to get the MP3 version on Noisetrade.

Bright Star Kickstarter: Final Stretching

A tiny note this morning – we have entered the final stretch for this record! Thursday is our last day to be a part of this project…whether it’s getting cool prizes at the $5, $15, or $500 levels (it all makes a difference!), this project will be something we’ll all be proud and excited to have been a part of! Click here to join in.

Bright Star Kickstarter Six Day Mark: As Sufjan Says…

Have you ever read Sufjan Steven’s blog? It’s worth a couple of visits a month…he intersperses pure hilarity with vintage art with grammar lessons with personal wisdom. When I was preparing for this new album and Kickstarter, I saw this from him and I loved it:

FACT: There is far greater joy (and pleasure) in giving than receiving. Perhaps it is not so much the “intention” of nature (I mean who really knows?), but the “will” of humankind (speaking optimistically, and with great hope) that contains this boundless capacity for immeasurable generosity and love (which is possibly irrational, against nature). Give more than you can take. Give everything you got. Even if it kills you. This is my prayer.

That’s why musicians put their music up on Noisetrade. Being so moved, they create, and in that powerful moment, they can’t help but give…

It’s my honest prayer with this new record, Bright Star, to give more than I take, everything I’ve got, even if it kills me…

Come be a part of the giving through this Kickstarter. Together, with enough help, we can make something truly beautiful, something we’ll want to give away over and over…until it kills us!🙂

We’ve got 6 days left to make it happen.

Here’s the link: Bright Star Kickstarter

Birds: “Sixty One”

“Those who cry their tears unheard will wash away the ash.  Those who mourn their prayers unheard will wear their beauty well.”

Birds Album Cover

These first lines from the song Sixty One off of my Birds record bring to mind people who cry out and mourn, the world turning a deaf ear on their plight; people who are so broken and beyond repair that literally no one cares to listen…and then it states, like Isaiah’s famously beautiful 61st chapter, that God will “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.”

That’s an absolutely incredible promise, a complete 180, a full out coup on the established state of existence!  If you’ve ever been in a place where you feel completely broken and unheard, you know what a miracle it is that the God who created everything would pluck you out of your despair and clothe you with garments of beauty and praise.

The song continues by heaping words of affirmation.  They are the words that we, as a prophetic people of God, get to heap on our friends and fellow women and men,

“You’re drenched in gladness and clothed in praise!  Your arms hold a strength hard-won! Your roots are planted deep!  You’re built on strength that fire can’t destroy!  Your treasure is found in the ones that you love!  Your homes are filled with joy!”

I wrote this song the first night I visited  The Oak Project, a beautiful group of people in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Their mission statement “is to foster safe, authentic and nurturing environments for single mothers and their children in order to forge lasting relationships and emerge as advocates of personal and social change within our at-risk communities.”

You can find it on my record, Birds, which is currently being offered up on Noisetrade as a free download.  Click here to download the record and share it with anyone you think might enjoy it.

A New Worship CD in the Works…Help Make It Happen!

Hello! What a brilliantly cold week we’ve had in Colorado. I hope you’ve fared well braving the elements across the country. I know it’s been tough here.

I’m writing to let you know I’m working on a new worship record right now – it feels really crazy to say this because my whole life is spun around the Psalms and leading worship, but what with all the recent creatively-charged projects, I realized that I haven’t released an album of songs specifically for worship gatherings since my two records with Enter the Worship Circle!

So currently I’m beginning a new writing phase, and looking to record soon. In order to do that, I need your help and have launched a Kickstarter Campaign.

I think you’re really gonna love these songs, so please, consider backing the campaign early and spreading the word. The campaign will last thirty one days and I’ll be writing and posting new demos all month in the “Backer” area, so once you pledge, you’ll get to hear new songs, give me feedback, and be a part of this first crazy writing process!

Click here to get to the Kickstarter Page

You’ve been so supportive and good to me over the years and for that I’m so very humbled and thankful. So please, join in and see this new project do great things with me!


King Cub Sing – new EP

Coming from the creative worlds of Aaron and Dobsy, these four humble little songs were born in a day when Dobsy brought his electronic landscaping to the studio and Aaron put down some words. Over the next couple of weeks, sonic treats were added and the talented Dave Wilton was enlisted to master and polish the tracks.

Partially motivated by a desire to collaborate and have fun, we also timed it so that it could help us raise funds to go to Costa Rica for some worship ministry with some dear brothers and sisters we’ve been partnering with and growing close to in San Jose.

Please take a listen to the tracks, pick up the EP and support us in this endeavor, even buy the rad shirt (EP included!). We have left the “let fans pay more if they want” option open and would encourage you to be generous – we can’t do this without your help!

Click here to listen.