“Levant” by Suzanne Marc

If there were one thing lacking in Christian music today, it would be brokenness before the Lord—something debut artist Suzanne Marc has not only embraced, but something she has managed to weave into her songwriting. In her brand new three-song EP, Levant, Marc explores questions of faith in the face of poverty and injustice, drawing from her years overseas in the Middle East.

Her opening track, Remember Me, is a ballad to the beloved: the orphan and the widow, the impoverished and the sick. A familiar finger-picked acoustic guitar sets the stage for Marc’s rich alto vocals, beckoning us not only into the suffering of others, but also the suffering of Christ. Eventually overtaken by a chorus of strings (thanks to the always provoking compositions from house of prayer veteran, David Brymer), this song is one for the charts: something you’d hear on a holiday season commercial or a Spotify rainy-day playlist.

“I wrote ‘Remember Me‘ after I visited a refugee camp full of families who had fled their home country” Marc shared with us, “As I went home that day, I couldn’t stop seeing their faces—the face of a man who had helped us with the food distribution that day, the little girl with her mom, the man with his bad leg, smoking his cigarette. When I got home I started to pray for them, and as I prayed I started weeping. I wept with a longing for them to be comforted that I knew wasn’t simply my own emotion. All I had to do was pick up my guitar and sing, and the chorus of this song came out.”

Having been raised overseas, Marc wears her international identity beautifully, singing fluently in both English (Remember Me, and O Syria) and Arabic (Malachi 1:11) “I grew up immersed in the sights, sounds and practices of another culture and religion, and I loved it. I couldn’t imagine life any other way.” Marc shares, “Music was always there too—the Middle East has such a rich musical history that resonated with me.”

Marc follows in the footsteps of her father who she tells us, “would set old hymns and Arabic scripture to new melodies that he composed on his autoharp.” Malachi 1:11, the final song on the EP, is a triumphant declaration of hope set in a traditional minor key in homage to legendary singers such as Sabah and Fairuz.

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord will be great. In every place, at every time, the name of the Lord will be great.”

Levant, translated “to rise; or the place where the sun rises”, is also a common title given to a region in the Middle East that many of the songs were written in, and its Marc’s greatest hope that this region would discover the healing and redemption promised to those who revere God in Malachi 4:2. She also hopes that the EP would draw listeners into the mystery of God’s heart; that in the darkness of our own suffering and of those around us, we would experience the dawning of the light of the world. “It’s so easy to harden our hearts in order to survive as we see so much suffering,” Marc shares, “but I want my heart to grieve and mourn for the pain of the ones Jesus loves, and to be ready to respond in compassion.”

There is great strength in those words, and we couldn’t be more moved by this poet’s life. Keep an ear out for Levant on all music platforms today, and give it as a gift to someone close this holiday season!

You can find Suzanne Marc’s music on Spotify or on iTunes today, and expect it in stores for purchase by next Tuesday, the 27th.

Watch the official lyric video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzgZHRlRM_g

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