This year I have been introduced to a slew of new artists and music. There have also been some new releases from some longtime favorites of mine. A lot of these were discovered upon the recommendations of pastors, authors, theologians, and musicians whose work I already follow. For example, I read an interview with Andrew Peterson and he said one of the artists he was currently enjoying was Josh Garrels. Because I enjoy Peterson’s work I checked out Garrels’ work and found out I liked a good bit of it as well. So here are a number of my favorite songs from the past year-ish.
GOWE (Gifted on West East) is an independent hip/hop artist from Seattle. I met him a couple of years ago when I interviewed for a job at his church in Seattle. Thoughtful lyrics and catchy beats abound so give him a listen.
Citizens is one of the worship bands from Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Mars Hill recently started their own music label and so far the results have been some really good EPs. This is an old hymn with great lyrics and updated with a catchy beat that will surely have you singing along.
The Modern Post is another Mars Hill worship band and they recently released an EP that has a great version of one of my all time favorite hymns.
House of Heroes is one of my all time favorite bands. They released a new album this year that is so packed with energy you’ll be tired by the time you are done listening to it. The catchy hooks grab you and the potent lyrics keep you coming back for more. This song is one of my favorites and for whatever reason whenever I listen to it I think it should be the theme song for “The Hunger Games” series. Listen to it and you’ll see what I mean.
Wayfarer recently released a quality EP with some catchy folk mixes of classic hymns. If you like folk music you definitely need to check them out.
How about the aforementioned Andrew Peterson? He just released a new album and it is a wonderful work. Check out this track and tell me it doesn’t hit the nail on the head.
Here’s the first song I heard from Josh Garrels. “The Resistance” is powerful and the lyrics are like a punch in the gut. Now, Garrels will not be for everyone. His style is very unique but he is worth checking out especially if you like music that makes you think. Seriously, listen to this song. I think you will be amazed at the melding of lyrics and music. This might be my favorite songs ever.
Propaganda is a hip/hop artist and spoken word poet. He just released an album that pulls no punches. Just about every song on “Excellent” asks tough questions with probing lyrics. Even if you would never listen to hip/hop you need to listen to this song.
Owl City? Yup, he’s got some good stuff too! With clever lyrics and catchy electronic beats Adam Young crafts some really great music.
The band Caleb has a pretty stellar musical pedigree in that the band contains two of Steven Curtis Chapman’s sons. These young musicians offer up musical stylings reminiscent of Coldplay or U2 complete with a lyrical maturity that is amazing given their youth.
Last, but certainly not least, is Mat Kearney. I got hooked on his music after hearing him at an Owl City concert. You should check out all his albums because each one is stellar.
Got anything to add? I’m always looking for new music!