“Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.”
This is an exciting time for music in the church. There are artists around the world taking strides to write excellent, creative music that fills a need for gospel rich and thematically unique songs. Recently, some artists have put an emphasis on writing songs that shape who we are in our daily lives, and speak to the Christian experience. Here are 5 albums that have come out over the last few months from artists who are following the call to sing a new song:
by Austin Stone Worship
This team of worship leaders at Austin Stone Church in Austin, Texas have a compelling vision for modern worship. Using a contemporary sound, they aim to reach people with accessibility and simplicity, while writing songs that are rich with the gospel. Their new album, Everflow, aims to point the listener to the supremacy of Christ in all things—through suffering and through redemption. Their worship pastor, Aaron Ivey, gives us some context for the album: “The book of 1 Peter is a powerful and timely book for today’s culture. It deals with suffering, enduring in the faith, and persevering no matter the cost. It helps answer this question: how do we live in a world that is not our home? Scripture often uses the sea as an illustration of two dichotomous things: the perils of suffering, and the redeeming work of Jesus. Both are true for believers. We may feel lost in a raging sea, but we know that God uses it to save us.”
by Sandra McCracken
Sandra McCracken has already had a long career of writing and recording folk music for the church to sing. As one of the founding members of Indelible Grace Music, she spent years retuning hymn texts that had fallen out of use to bring them back to the cooperate gathering. She has also taken on writing new songs in a singer/songwriter genre apart from corporate worship music; music meant for storytelling, personal meditation, and devotion. Her new album, Songs from The Valley, is vulnerable, poetic, and beautiful. It is about the trials she’s faced in her life and how she was driven to look to Jesus for light and salvation. Her voice is both fragile and comforting, and her minimal and ethereal arrangements accompany the heaviness of these laments perfectly. Sandra describes her record: “These songs are from the valley, but they’re pierced through with light. Such is the way of God. He walks with us in the dark, and dark is as light to him. Often it’s there that we see Him most vividly.”
by Sovereign Grace
Sovereign Grace has been serving the global church for years, writing songs that are clear and compelling, and easily applied to different church contexts. You may know their songs, “O Great God”, “Before The Throne” and, “All I Have Is Christ”. Bob Kauflin, director of Sovereign Grace Music, has a goal to fill out churches song lists with themes that don’t get sung enough in the cooperate gathering. Songs that deal with confession, lament, the daily life of a Christian, the trinity, and God’s judgment are rare. Their new album, Prayers of the Saints, tackles all these themes effortlessly. The album culminates around songs of longing, praying for the return of Christ. “One day the waiting will be over, every wrong will be made right, and all creation will bow before the returning King and Savior, Jesus Christ. Until then, we praise… we trust...we hope...we pray, knowing that the God who gave his only Son to redeem a people for himself will never go back on his promises.” - posted by Sovereign Grace Ministries
by Beautiful Eulogy
From Humble Beast Records in Portland Orgon, Beautiful Eulogy’s prolific lyricists Brian Winchester and Thomas Joseph Terry write songs dense with theology that get right to the heart. In their new album, Worthy, they tackle themes of doubt, failure, pride, depression, poverty, addiction, social justice, and more. They skillfully bring all these issues into the lens of the gospel, and show how worshiping God is the answer to all of life’s trials. Their beat composer, Courtland Urbano, creates a setting for their raps that is inspiring, contemplative and raw. Brian and Thomas both serve as pastors in Portland, and their goals for this record reflect their hearts as pastors. They want these songs so to be more than just good beats and good theology, they want it to be “theology applied.” Thomas puts it this way: “Our hope for this record is that you walk away not thinking about Beautiful Eulogy, but you walk away thinking about God, and that you would be compelled and driven into worship.”
by The Porters Gate
Isaac Wardell is the worship pastor at Trinity Presbyterian in Charlottesville, Virginia, and also the director of The Porters Gate Worship Project. Last summer he pulled together a group of authors, pastors, and musicians to write songs about one central theme: work as worship. These artists included people like Stuart Townend, Liz Vice, Josh Garrels, Audrey Assad and more. This was a remarkably diverse group of songwriters with backgrounds in indie rock, gospel, soul, contemporary, and classical music. The result of their collaboration was a fascinating record featuring 13 modern hymns centered on affirming vocation as an integral part of a life of worship. Stuart Townend, who is best known for co-writing the hymns “How Deep the Fathers Love” and “In Christ Alone”, talks about the necessity of a record like this: “I think we live in an exciting time, and there are probably more songs being written now then have ever been written in the history of the church. But, actually, alongside this increase in the number of songs, I’m also aware that there can be a little bit of a narrowing thematically. We need more songs that help to shape who we are in our daily lives, not just give me a good experience on a Sunday morning.”
You can look up these artists on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, or wherever you
get your music. These albums are also featured on our
FBC Music playlist on Spotify, along with music from other artists joining this calling. Let us be a people who live lives of continual dependence and praise toward God!
Main Idea: In view of the Christian’s new union with Christ (Col 3:1-4), the Apostle Paul gives three exhortations about how the Christian must deal with the desires of his old self (3:5-11). Mortify Your Old Immoral Passions (3:5-7...
In his first epistle, the Apostle Peter gave specific instructions to the elders among various groups of scattered believers (1 Peter 5:1-3). Almost 2,000 years later, the charge is still the same for overseers in the church. They are...