Jon Foreman made a name for himself as the frontman of Switchfoot, the Grammy-winning alt-rock band known for hits such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move." While Switchfoot never shied away from its spiritual foundation, Foreman's own work leans more heavily into his Christian faith, as showcased on a number of EPs the prolific singer, songwriter, and musician has released over the years. Departures is an album very much inspired by the grief and tumult of 2020, with songs like "A Place Called Earth" envisioning life in a "heaven...where every son and daughter will know their worth" and "Jesus, I Have My Doubts" expressing frustration and confusion in response to a year rife with tragedy. Foreman produced the album alongside multi-instrumentalist and composer Keith Tutt II and drummer/producer Aaron Redfield, and tapped singers Madison Cunningham and Lauren Daigle to join him on the project. Below, he walks Apple Music through several of Departures' key tracks. The Ocean Beyond the Sea "This one is one of the songs that I've written specifically for my daughter, for my kids. It's the lullaby that I would sing to her at bedtime. And ironically, I think she hates it. She thinks it's really dark and brooding and mysterious, but I think that the hope of the song is it's a calling to something beyond where you are, to somewhere beyond where you've been. I was thinking of the common harbors that we all pursue—beauty, power, control, safety. And yet there's a longing underneath that that isn't ever fulfilled by material means. The song is about that destination that is out of our reach above the sky, beyond the road, past the trees, and yet closer than you think." Side by Side (feat. Madison Cunningham) "This one I wrote just before the lockdown. It sounds wild now, but we were playing on the Rock Boat, which is a cruise ship filled with rock bands. I was looking out over the water and it was very peaceful, and there was this news that COVID-19 was coming. People were talking about this virus and yet it felt like a million miles away, because we're in the middle of the ocean and we're at peace... I was thinking at that moment about the things that we allow to get in between us as humans, the things that we allow to become walls and wars and divorces and grudges. And I think that the song finds its final punch in the last line. The irony that friends and enemies will all be buried side by side." A Place Called Earth (feat. Lauren Daigle) "That song might not have ever come out if it weren't for the year we've had. I'm always looking for the silver lining, and that song is absolutely a silver lining. So we wrote that years ago—Lauren [Daigle], myself, and my brother [Tim Foreman]. As with most songs that I write, I spent a ton of time on it and then it sits on a hard drive and I forgot about it. And I think Lauren forgot about it. Tim forgot about it. It was just sitting there. And this year I was looking for something else and I stumble across that song on the hard drive and I pull it up and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I feel right now.' So I spent a little time on it with Keith [Tutt] and Aaron [Redfield] putting some solos down and filling it out a little bit, but it absolutely feels like it captures the spirit of the year that we've been through, which is ironic because it was, like I said, written several years ago." Red and Gold "I wrote that one on a piano at dusk, and I remember, just in my head, that image of the interstate, specifically in California, where I'm from. I feel like maybe it's just me, but I find it beautiful, and maybe it's because I'm not in the traffic, but when you're looking at it from outside it, you could see the headlights starting to glow, taillights starting to glow, and the sun is setting and everything is gold. So that's where the song comes from, red and gold and taking that metaphor of these motorists traveling home. For me, it evokes a longing that transcends just the evening commute for a longing that is maybe timeless, a spiritual, soul longing, and not just a temporal hope to be in a new location." Jesus, I Have My Doubts "Ever since I was a little kid, music has been that safe space for me. I think, especially in high school, I discovered that I could write a song and be honest in ways that I couldn't in conversation, that I could be honest saying something that is hard to say. And I feel like this song takes full advantage of that. I will often go down to the beach. There is this one rock that I sit on and look out into the darkness at night and there's no one around, and it's just me and the Pacific Ocean. I go down there and meditate or pray or think, or talk to myself, yell at God, whatever it is. And this feels like a song that was born from that journey. And I feel that doubt is crucial. Doubt is important... Part of believing is to doubt, to ask, to seek, and ultimately to find, but I don't believe in a God who's afraid of me, a God that I can't take a swing at. And this is a song that takes a swing at God and asks some big questions at the end of a wildly long and difficult season." The Valley of the Shadow of Planned Obsolescence "The first verse is a bit intentionally vague, where you don't know exactly what we're talking about, but for me it's this idea that I'm speaking into this cell phone that I carry everywhere with me. We give these devices so much of our lives. I think what inspired the song was seeing an old cell phone of mine. The screen was cracked and I think maybe it had fallen into water or something. I can't remember how it died, but it had died. So I wanted to use that metaphor and that reality of death and how it casts a shadow on your human experience. The idea that everyone we love will die. The beautiful physical reality to the human experience is that when I am taken away from this screen, I'm reminded of the hands that I want to hold and the lips I want to kiss and the people that need me and the people that I need."