Music you want to hear…
I get asked a lot, what music I would recommend, and I haven’t really shared a post about new music in a while. So here is goes. All of these are things that are pretty new. I will warn you ahead of time, this is all worship. I could include a few non worship items, but there is so much worship I want to recommend that I figure its easy just to make this post about worship. These are not in any sort of order, other than scanning through my playlist which is a random order itself. (It is also important to note, that not one of the artists mentioned have paid me any money for the recommendation. This is purely my own recommendations and the things I am listening to.)
1. “Endless Ocean // Bottomless Sea” Jonathan David & Melissa Helser: This is a 2 disc EP series. Some of you might remember their previous album “On The Shores” which was truly a highlight of 2012. After the production of that Album, The Helser’s felt something was missing. They realized that they had recorded the songs to fit in the confines of the disc, but hadn’t played the songs to their fullness. So recently they went back in to the studio and re-recorded every song from on the shores as well as a few new tracks. This time around they didn’t worry about length they simply played the songs until they were done. There was spontaneity, and beauty, and the presence of God. The total running time clocked in about 2 hours, but not once in the two hours is there a moment that feels week or lacks anything. The extended versions of the old songs are indeed improvements of the originals. The new tracks are excellent songs that really feel right in the context of the album itself. I was lucky enough to be given it, but you can purchase it in the from of 2 EP’s on itunes, or get it directly from The Helser’s. Click the Link at the title of this section for their site.
2. “Endless Years” Will Reagan and United Pursuit: I have been a fan of United Pursuit for quite a while, lately they have been branching out with solo albums. This is a good thing because each of the members of the United Pursuit core is incredibly talented, and their solo projects let them express their musical individuality, while the group albums allow them to show their collective identity as a church and family. Endless Years captures much of the magic of Will Reagan’s musicianship and songwriting but this time in a studio setting. This album is excellent and has many great moments of worship. I had the chance to see Will and some of the United Pursuit gang when they came to the Boiler Room in KC and the whole evening was just a joy and a delight. I recommend the whole United Puruis family of music, but as this is the most recent, check it out. You can grab it off itunes, and the link for that is in the title of this section
3. “The Fire” Samuel Lane: As I am writing this article I have been listening to this album. Samuel is a Vinayrd Worship leader from the UK, so many might not know of him, but a friend turned me on to this album and the simplicity and passion of it just hits me. The music Samuel produces is worship that is designed for both the Church at large, and the intimate passionate heart as well. I honestly can’t give you a bunch of specifics about it, I can only explain that as a whole this album manages to play a chord that truly resonates in my heart. In the title of this section I linked his personal website, and you can get information about how to purchase his music there. For a small sampling of his music, go to noisetrade. He is giving away an EP. A few of the songs on this EP are selections that are on “The Fire” including two live editions. Its worth the time it takes to download.
3. “The Invisible” Daniel Bashta: This is an album I was literally salivating over while waiting for it to come out. Daniel’s Previous Release “The Sounds of Daniel Bashta” is one of my favourite albums. It is brilliant. So when I heard he was preparing another album, I was excited, but also worried. I know how hard it can be to continue to produce such good worship, but as soon as it came to my email, I was instantly excited. This album is a bit stripped down from the previous one but maintains the power and passion of His previous release. One of the great things I love about Daniel is something that goes beyond his music and shows you his heart. Along with releasing the album itself, he posted the backing tracks for free on Noisetrade, so if you are in a church without a band you can still put the backing track on and sing his music. He also created a website where you can get the chord charts for free, and also read devotions that are themed from each of the songs.
4. “Citizens” Citizens: I really like Mars Hill Church. Citizens is one of the worship bands, they are the leaders of the U-District campus. This a great album, because it show who there are. In the current culture, so many people are trying to imitate a specific sound. The sound of Passion Conferences, Hillsong Churches, Jesus Cultures. A sound that brings a stadium full of people together, but also a sound that is to natural to the average church. There is nothing wrong with any of those groups and the songs they produce, but lot of those tones are not typical of a small group or a four piece team. Citizens didn’t try to capture that sound, but instead found an organic sound that is all their own. Its hard hitting and driven, but it also is easily achieved with a small band and team. The sounds are simple enough and speak to the heart of the Christian walk. I really enjoy this one and I think you will too. It has a good energy to it. I linked to their artist page on the mars hill website. You can find out how to buy it from there.
5. “Campfire” Rend Collective Experiment: Rend Collective is a bit of a favorite of mine. Their Irish Folk Rock sounds are just delightful, and this album is the epitome of why I like them. First off the songs are all excellent, but the Album name Campfire comes from the fact that This album was recorded in the wild. The whole crew and their friends went to a lakeside beach in Northern Ireland. They made a big campfire and they worshiped God. That night of worship was recorded and is what you hear when you listen to this album. The album is about community, and a group of people who live life together and worship God together. Its the overflow of their hearts, not as individuals, but as a community. The understanding of Living Christianity as a community is a bit of a passion for me. I love community, and I love how Rend Collective has expressed it here. I have linked their website so you can get a good Idea of how that works for them.
Well, that should keep your ears busy for a little while. Each one of these is different from the others, but each one expresses something that Needs to be expressed. I hope you get a chance to hear each and every one of them and enjoy them as much as I have.