Archive

Folk

For more info on Strahan visit:
http://www.strahanmusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/StrahanMusic

Purchase ‘Posters’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/posters/id593799036
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/posters/id593799036

Lyrics:
I will wait to see the day
Of your vine
Of your vine
Will you take to the hands of thine
This heart of mine
This heart of mine

There is a vineyard of the Lord
There is a vineyard for us all
With all our troubles left behind the door
We drink first light until the dawn

There is love
There is love
In the Lord

There is a forest built without the thorns
There is a vineyard of the Lord
We are all pillars in the store rooms of
His love and his mercy

There is love
There is love
In the Lord

Oh my soul oh my soul
Will drink you in will drink you in
So tell me Lord tell me Lord

Will you let me drink you in?

There is a vineyard of the Lord
There is a vineyard for us all
Well he’s burning up the clouds without remorse
Yeh they burn with his coming

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Genre: Folk, Worship, Indie

Evan Thomas Way of the Deeper Well collective takes worship back to the old school with his debut indie, folk record ‘Only Light’, available as a free download from Bandcamp and Nosietrade.

For more info on Evan Thomas Way visit:
http://deeper-well.com/artists/evan-thomas-way/

Name your price for ‘Only Light’ on Bandcamp:
https://evanthomasway.bandcamp.com/

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Genre: Indie, Worship, Folk

Indie Worship group SisterBrother return with their sophomore record ‘Into The Light’.

For more info on SisterBrother visit:
http://sisterbrotherband.com/

Purchase ‘Into The Light’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/into-the-light/id935385475
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/into-the-light/id935385475

Lyrics:
He brought us out of the darkness and into the light
He brought us out of the darkness and into the light
He has lifted our blindness and He gave us His sight
He brought us out of the darkness and into the light

We sing oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

We are no longer slaves we are daughters and sons
We are no longer slaves we are daughters and sons
We have entered communion with the Three In One
We are no longer slaves we are daughters and sons

We sing oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

And no love is greater
No love is stronger
All eyes are on You
For You have
Redeemed our souls
You won’t let go

You’ve redeemed our souls
You won’t let go

For you have
Redeemed our souls

And no love is greater
No love is stronger
All eyes are on You
For You have
Redeemed our souls
You won’t let go

You’ve redeemed our souls
You won’t let go

He brought us out of the darkness and into the light
He brought us out of the darkness and into the light

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Genre: Christmas, Acoustic, Folk, Pop

Rend Collective cover Shakin’ Stevens 1985 Christmas #1 hit ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ and add their folk worship flair to it for a brilliant twist on Christmas classic.

For more info on Rend Collective visit:
http://rendcollective.com/

Purchase ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/campfire-christmas-vol.-1/id938389068
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/campfire-christmas-vol.-1/id938389068

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Genre: Acoustic, Singer/Songwriter, Folk

LA based singer/songwriter Paul Choi delivers some beautiful acoustic music for our ears.

For more info on Paul Choi visit:

Purchase ‘Home’ from Bandcamp:
https://paulchoi.bandcamp.com/

Lyrics:
This place is not my home
I’m standing on the edge of a great divide
When will I ever know
I’ve been walking on the line wondering when I’ll fall into the tide

There’s no place I would rather be than where you are
There’s no place I would rather be than where you are

This place is not my home
I’m standing on the edge of a great divide
When will I ever know
I’ve been walking on the line thinking one day I’ll fall into the tide

There’s no place I would rather be than where you are
There’s no place I would rather be than where you are

This is not my home, this is not my home

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Genre: Rock, Acoustic with Folk elements

From the five-piece, Wisconsin band The Dust Of Men, this is the title track from the subtle masterpiece and debut album ‘What The Morning Shows’.
For more info on The Dust Of Men visit:
http://thedustofmen.com/

Lyrics:
Devastation
Oh, this house been laid low
Every window been cracked, and I’ve tried
But I just can’t keep out the coldDesperation
Oh, this soul been laid low
All of these changes that I can’t afford
That I can’t ignore

It’s not over now
Lift your eyes to the dawn
Oh, it’s comin’ on

A light has come
To this house that crumbled to the ground
And the morning shows
There’s still hope

Sweet consolation
Bringin’ that comfort to my soul
Let this heart be unbroken in ways
That I’ve never known, oh, but now I can know

It’s not over now
Lift your eyes to the dawn
It’s comin’ onOh, a light has come
To this house that crumbled to the ground
And the morning shows
There’s still hope

All of these bones, so tired and worn
All of my memories are burned out and torn
But that light kept comin’ on
And all of my memories are of beauty now
The beauty of light, pourin’ into every room of this house
Shinin’ all that darkness out

Oh, a light has come
To this house that crumbled to the ground
And the morning shows
Oh, it shows
A light has come
To this house that crumbled to the ground
And the morning shows
There’s still hope

Purchase ‘What The Morning Shows’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-the-morning-shows/id740704362
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/what-the-morning-shows/id740704362Follow The Good Christian Music Blog on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheGCMblog


Genre: Indie, Folk, Acoustic, Singer-Songwriter

Unable to attend his friends’ wedding, folk singer Tom McConnell (featured on our free Summer Mixtape (Vol.2)) sings a sweet tune full of good wishes to his friends on their big day.

For more info on Tom McConnell visit:
http://tmcconnellmusic.com/

Purchase ‘The Wedding Song’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/handiwork-ep/id885222495
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/handiwork-ep/id885222495

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If the above player doesn’t load, work, or is just too confusing, then head here to download it:

http://thegcmblog.bandcamp.com/

Dear Listener,

It’s been a busy year! Our audience has increased hugely – the YouTube channel now has over 12,000 Subscribers and total video views currently stands at 1.5 million! Amongst the growth though with some help from friends and family I’ve been in touch with more artists to bring you another free summer mixtape and here it is.

It’s not as long as last years, at just 11 tracks but I’d rather deliver a shorter mixtape of top quality music than fill it with anything I could get permission for!

Like last years mixtape I hope you are introduced to new artists through this compilation. I’ve come to know some of these artists really well whilst putting this together and by speaking to them throughout the year and I can honestly say there are some great people featured on this album who truly worship Christ with everything that they have to give. So, check out the poster that’s included and get in touch with the artists’ through Facebook and Twitter etc. and tell them how much you appreciate their music, knowing these guys most of them will probably even find the time to reply to you! (Then go download the rest of their work!)

Be encouraged by their music, share it with friends not just because you secretly hope they’ll become Christians through it but because it’s simply a collection of great music! Enjoy the diverse mix of genres, the different ways that people praise God and the different stories people have to tell.

My prayer this year is for this mixtape to spread further than before, to reach Christians throughout the world who need encouraging, Christians who wish there was great music for a great God, Christians who need a new song to sing and soundtrack to dance to.

A huge thanks to all the artists involved, for supporting the blog and the work I do and wanting to be part of this small but influential mixtape.

And finally thanks to you the listener for the continued support to both the blog and the artists we feature, whether it’s simply by liking a link on Facebook, sharing the blog with friends or donating money so that we can give more copies of the mixtape away. Thank you for making this possible.


In Christ,
Stephen Bradley,
TheGoodChristianMusicBlog.com

rivers robots all things newHaving started as a solo project by Manchester native Jonathan Ogden (lead vocals and keyboard), Rivers & Robots has since gained three more members, David Hailes (guitar and ukelele), Nathan Stirling (bass, guitar and percussion) and Kelani Koyejo (drums) as of 2012 and are now releasing their first album as a four-piece group.

With a firm foundation of two strong solo albums – The Great Light (2011) and Take Everything (2012) – the expectations were high with their latest release All Things New and I can confidently say that they have met all of them and even exceeded these expectations in many places. When I first heard Rivers & Robots two years ago, what drew me to Jonathan’s music was the originality in the style and specifically the way he structured his songs. Regardless of what the rest of the worship scene was doing he always produced what he felt God had put on his heart and it always paid off. Pleasantly, with this album that remains just as true, and as a group they haven’t bowed to the pressure of writing simple songs that churches can sing all around the world but sing their own song, in their own style and it sits in stark contrast to the sound of contemporary worship music.

Starting as they mean to go on, the album opens with the chilled anthem ‘We Have Overcome’, beginning with just claps and acoustic guitar it screams organic indie worship without ever feeling forced or copied. Although it doesn’t give much description, the best adjective seems to be that it simple sounds very British – influences of bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Coldplay and Bloc Party reach you much quicker than any Christian music influence does and it’s incredibly refreshing!

Jumping in to the upbeat ‘Perfect Love’ followed by the charming ‘White As Snow’, it’s clear that one of Rivers & Robots values is quality, thoughtful lyrical content which firmly sticks to a specific theme.With each track they uniquely hold on to their indie roots whilst fully embracing the heart of worship music. Comparing the album to their past work, the production has also stepped up a notch, they may not be professionals but the quality of their music could stand alongside any major worship group and still shine.

On the topic of production the particular stand out track is the electronic/sample based ‘Fall Down’. Luscious ambient vibes are littered with interesting sounds like guitar harmonics to create a unique interlude from the rest of the album which works beautifully. Another album highlight is the song ‘You Hear Me’, a chilled acoustic track about prayer and how even though God knows our thoughts before we bring them to Him, He still wants us to come and speak to Him. Also, in a similar vein is ‘Keep My Fire Burning’ a gentle, intimate piece of worship that wouldn’t be out of place if sung beside a campfire. It’s in the songs like this as well as ‘Light Will Dawn’, and ‘Voice That Stills The Raging Sea’ where Rivers & Robots are really at their best. Although there are moments in the album where the tempo is upped, on the more upbeat tracks the climax can sometimes fall slightly flat, the songs may build and build but it never fully feels like it reaches where it’s heading. It’s not a huge criticism as the album works well as a calm, chilled, folky worship record but the change of pace would work nicely if the upbeat tracks delivered a little more.


Overall, this album really sets the bar high, and as a band they have produced a brilliant record. All Things New is coherent in style and the input and musicianship of the the new band members really comes through in many beautiful and subtle moments of the album (such as the slide guitar on the final track) and they haven’t made the usual mistake of favouring a pop influenced overproduced sound. Already leading worship at a few events and playing more and more live shows these guys are sure to have bigger things in store and if they continue to stay true to their organic, indie, British sound they’ll definitely be turning heads as they go – this truly is must have music.

 

Purchase All Things New from Bandcamp:
http://riversrobots.bandcamp.com/album/all-things-new

For more info on Rivers & Robots visit:
http://riversandrobots.com/

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Rend Collective - The Art Of Celebration - 4 StarsWith the results of their musical ‘Experiment’ returning positive – as marked by the mass adoption of folk in to mainstream worship – Rend Collective (F.K.A. Rend Collective Experiment) have wisely decided to drop the third word from their name like many of their fans have already been doing so for many years. Along with this name change, the Northern Irish foot-stompers bring their latest musical offering to the table, titled ‘The Art Of Celebration’.

Inspired by a theological breakthrough this album is the bands response to learning and rediscovering that joy (and not seriousness) is a fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Although their music has rarely been described as solemn and serious, this revelation is a great place to start any worship album at and as such it’s no surprise that the opener of this record is a track titled ‘Joy’.

Starting with the familiar sound of acoustic guitars and ukelele’s that bounce off the joyful lyrics, it doesn’t take long for Rend Collective to get going, quickly jumping into a mighty, upbeat chorus that sets the tone of the record. Though the music may be somewhat closer to pop than their usual folk style it’s the lyrics of the track that stand out. This isn’t just a happy sing-song that ignores grief, but is actually a complete recognition of the extremes of our emotions.

The pain will not define us/Joy will reignite us/You’re the song/Of our hearts”

Yes, Christ is our joy, and we are called to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phi 4:4) but that doesn’t mean life is without pain, suffering and brokenness. Harking back to the album title, celebration is an ‘art’ to be practised, it doesn’t come by ignoring pain and just wearing a smile instead but actually comes through holding on to steadfast truth.

Though lyrically good throughout, I can’t help but feel that some tracks feel musically forced at times. The indie folk side of the band sounds great on this record but the pop influences sound less natural – the manufactured pop style may go down well with the Christian radio stations and youth conferences but Rend Collective are at their best when they sound like Rend Collective! An example of this manufactured style is the track Burn Like A Star, the lyrics are good, but musically it just doesn’t feel as natural and organic as tracks like All That I Am, Finally Free, Create In Me and Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration) to name just a few.

One of the louder and triumphant songs of the album is the hugely popular worship anthem My Lighthouse. This track beautifully references the pillar of smoke and fire that leads the Israelites out of Egypt in the exodus and tries to create a similar image with the more modern imagery of a lighthouse.

My Lighthouse/Shining in the darkness/I will follow You/My Lighthouse/I will trust the promise/you will carry me/Safe to shore”

Very singable, and very true about Jesus, the only problem being that lighthouses don’t safely guide ships to shore and in no circumstances should be followed but actually warn ships of imminent danger (Rend Collective: great musicians, but not so great sailors)! Technicalities and sarcasm aside though, it’s a great, exuberant worship song bound to find it’s way into many churches sunday setlists.

With the first four tracks of the album following a similar style to My Lighthouse, the record slows things down with the track All That I Am. At first glance it may seem like the band has lost their joyful bounce and turned to the exact thing they wanted to avoid – seriousness – however the track serves as a great reminder that joy is not always loud and ecstatic. I’ll repeat that again, joy is not always loud and ecstatic, as it becomes clear upon multiple listens that this song, although quieter and less energetic than the album openers is written out of a deep joy found only in Christ.

“Selfish ambition and my pride/I’m giving up I’m letting die/In these empty hands I have it all/The pure joy of knowing you my Lord/It’s only in surrender that I’m free”

As a result, listening to this track feels like peering into the band’s personal life and joining in an intimate, genuine, deep joyful worship session. This style of worship isn’t just limited to the chilled, acoustic tracks either as it seems to continue throughout the rest of the album, occasionally  accompanied by strings in tracks like Immeasurably More and Strength Of My Heart.

The highlights of the record then occur in the songs that find the perfect balance between the quiet joy and the loud rejoicing. This is done brilliantly in the track Finally Free and again (but in a different style) in the title track Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration) setting the stage for a perfect mighty finish to a strong album. However, the listener is then confronted with two seemingly out of place songs, a live version of My Lighthouse and a remix of Joy. The live track is good, but having already been released as a single in three different forms it seems overkill that it appears yet again.

Following in the recent footsteps of Hillsong United and Jesus Culture, the apparently anonymous remix of Joy then attempts to shift Rend Collective into the realm of electronica but sadly fails spectacularly by doing no more than adding drums and the occasional synth to the original. This then produces a track that’s neither indie folk pop or electronica but a strange and bland mix of both. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m personally a huge fan of electronic music (it’s no big secret that this blog was inspired by YouTube channels such as Majestic Casual) and it’s not even that Rend Collective shouldn’t be remixed at all. However, remixing is a careful craft that can produce great results but in this situation it seems no more than a gimmick.

Lacklustre remix aside, this album is a great release from everyone’s favourite indie folk worship celebration band and sees the Northern Irish Jesus lovers push themselves into a more polished and matured sound that largely remains true to their ‘Organic Family Hymnal’ days that put them on the map. Overall, The Art Of Celebration shines brightly in the vast sea called contemporary worship music and begs for these songs to be used in churches and not just kept to the confines of hipster Christian’s playlists and youth pastor’s iPods.

Purchase The Art Of Celebration from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-art-of-celebration/id816543831
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-art-of-celebration/id816543831

For more info on Rend Collective visit:
http://rendcollective.com/

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