Archive

Folk


Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Acoustic, Folk, Worship, Indie, Modern Hymn

Irish born Tom McConnell, also known for being the frontman of The Ramshackle Orchestra, today released his latest solo musical offering with his single ‘Honeybee’. On the B-track ‘Old Hymns/New Hearts, we hear Tom singing praises to the Lord with his folk flair and Irish charm, telling a different love story to the ones usually heard on Valentine’s Day. Great theology and even greater songwriting makes this a brilliant indie worship track from an exciting singer who consistently delivers.

Lyrics:
When I was lost my guilty heart was leading me astray,
I put my trust in idols that shall falter and decay.
Whilst in the depths of my despair the sinless Saviour died
And bore the wrath for all my sin when He was crucified.

O what a gift so freely given and grace so undeserved,
That Jesus came from Heavʼn to earth to serve and not be served.
For all the wrong that I have done my Lord has paid the price
And reconciled me to His throne my Jesusʼ sacrifice.

The power of our glorious God the grave could not contain,
Death is defeated, once for all, because He rose again!
Jesus you and you alone sustain me and suffice,
Alleluia! Iʼm forgiven and made alive with Christ.

Alleluia! He has loved us so abundantly,
Brought from death to life because my God has ransomed me!

Here’s an older track of his ‘Riches’ performed live with a loop pedal.

Purchase ‘Honeybee’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/honeybee-single/id821271987
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/honeybee-single/id821271987

For more info on Tom McConnell visit:
http://tmcconnellmusic.com/
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Genre: Acoustic, Worship, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

 

Cageless Birds are a community of people from North Carolina who love, follow and worship Jesus with everything in them. Recently they met and recorded a live album comprised of songs written by different members of the group and released it with the humble name, ‘Live at Home‘. This track, East & West, is a calming song written by Jonathan David Helser based on a verse from Psalm 103 this song reflects on how far our sins have been removed from us, and that we no longer stand condemned because of Jesus’ death & resurrection. Simplistic, humble and organic this album is a beautiful piece of art and worship that never feels forced or contrived, but instead ushers the listener into a unique style of worship.

Purchase ‘Live at Home’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/live-at-home/id797077040
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-at-home/id797077040

 

For more info on Cageless Birds visit:
http://cagelessbirds.com/CB/Home.html
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Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic, Folk, Ambient

The man behind The Followers and Pilgrim, Josh White now releases a heart-felt and intimate solo acoustic album. This track, ‘Enclosed By You’ presents a conversation between Josh and God, with Josh’s doubt leading to him questioning God’s love, with God’s response of “I will never leave you” as the chorus, emphasised by the beautiful harmonies. Emotionally transparent, powerful and reflective this track is a remarkable piece of music, from an inspiring album.

Lyrics:
Will You stay with me,
When I forget You’re there?
Will You still love me,
When my love lingers elsewhere?

I hear you softly speaking,
Secrets that enclose
Words that softly linger,
With sweet repose

“I will never leave you
Leave you waiting ’round
I’m the One who’s been waiting
For you to turn around
For you to turn around”

How can I contain You
When You contain everything?
The house of my soul is far too small
Still I will sing

I hear you softly speaking,
Secrets that enclose
Words that softly linger,
With sweet repose

“I will never leave you
Leave you waiting ’round
I’m the One who’s been waiting
For you to turn around
For you to turn around”

Enclosed by You
In close I see
I am in You
And You are in me

Purchase ‘Absolution’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/absolution/id789899274
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/absolution/id789899274

Or download the album for free from Noisetrade!
http://noisetrade.com/joshalexanderwhite/absolution

For more info on Josh White visit:
https://www.facebook.com/joshwhitemusic
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Seeker & Servant - Into Your Love, I Go - 3.5 Stars

Just over a year old, Seeker & Servant are mere babies to the worship music scene – a genre often dominated by huge corporate bands and singers – yet these three guys from Jackson, Mississippi are singing loud enough for many of us to notice. Recently undergoing a slight transformation in their sound due to the addition of Kody Gautier to the band earlier in 2013, this album seeks to combine their folk beginnings with electronic ambience.

Opening the album with a cover of ‘How Deep The Father’s Love For Us’ instantly brings to mind other contemporary worship groups, specifically ‘Pacific Gold’ (previously known as ‘Wayfarer’), though it doesn’t take long for Seeker & Servant to leave their own mark on this well known hymn. The arrangement works great, and the addition of a chorus/bridge – “I was a wretch/and then you saved me (repeat)/then you set me free” – helps to break up the repetitiveness of the track, however the slight change in melody & pace at the end of most lines feels uncomfortable, but perhaps that’s because they are altering a traditional tune.

It’s the next few tracks though that Seeker & Servant really start to come into their own, brilliantly showcasing their majestic sound on ‘Let Me Not’. Starting as a quiet, acoustic track with repeated meditative lyrics, this song plays like a powerful and intimate prayer. As the melody builds, the song is split up beautifully with a break down that ushers in a gentle whistle, repeated all through the building orchestral crescendo that climaxes with a short-lived but triumphant chant. Though the structure is much more progressive than the rest of the album, the band have stumbled on to a beautiful sound, less congregational and more responsive/personal worship, it’s a style of Christian music that rarely goes mainstream yet when done well we hear incredible pieces of music like Hillsong United’s ‘Oceans’ or (closer to Seeker & Servant’s sound) Bethel’s ‘Give Me Jesus’.

It’s clear throughout the album that Seeker & Servant have fully adopted this new ambient electronica sound, and this elegantly shines through on the instrumental interlude ‘Meditate (Psalm 1)’, although just as the synths begin to take over and the electronic orchestra starts to grow, it swiftly comes to an abrupt end all too soon gently hinting that there was something more to hear but never quite delivering it. This is somewhat of a theme throughout the album, that despite their sound being big and ambient it often stays in the background.

However, on the occasions where that awesome, powerful music is brought into the spotlight it shines brilliantly. Ironically, the only time the album fully delivers that ‘something more’ is at the climax of the last track ‘Into Your Love, I Go’. Lyrically the song speaks of entering God’s grace and being covered by love, and when the title line “Into the streams of your love, I go” meets the jubilant fanfare midway through the track, images of entering the Kingdom and meeting God face to face quickly come to mind. Ending with shouts of praise from not just the vocals but the instruments as well, the album finishes spectacularly.

Though the current worship scene is no stranger to electronic music (with many big names following the lead of indie artists) as Seeker & Servant join the pack they have managed to carve out their own path without stepping on any other artists’ toes. For such a young group, Seeker & Servant have produced a brilliant debut record, and although the album falls short occasionally, it still provides the listener with a unique worship experience.

Album Highlights: ‘Let Me Not’, ‘In Awe’, ‘Our Greatest Joy’, ‘Into Your Love, I Go

Purchase ‘Into Your Love, I Go’ on iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/into-your-love-i-go/id740118844
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/into-your-love-i-go/id740118844

For more info on Seeker & Servant visit:
http://seekerandservant.tumblr.com/


Genre: Folk, Acoustic, Christmas Carol, Medley

The Oh Hellos are back and this time it’s with a festive release! Titled ‘The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album’ this 4 track/25 minute musical epic takes the listener on a journey through the advent story by weaving together a number of well known carols in to a perfectly crafted medley. Often chopping and changing choruses from one carol to another, switching chord progressions, and then bursting back into a song they covered 5 minutes ago. Just in this track alone you’ll hear parts of “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “The First Noel” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”. This album really has a little something for everyone and will no doubt be making it’s return year after year to the Christmas music selection.

Lyrics:
while shepherds watched their flocks by night
all seated on the ground
the angel of the Lord came down
and glory shone around
“fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled minds
“glad tidings of great joy I bring,
to you and all mankind!”

o tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
o tidings of comfort and joy

“to you in David’s town this day
is born of David’s line
the Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign:
the Heavenly Babe you there shall find
to human view displayed
and meanly wrapped in swathing bands
and in a manger laid”

o tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
o tidings of comfort and joy

Noel! Noel!
Noel! Noel!
born is the King of Israel!

o come, let us adore Him!
o come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

“all glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace!
good will henceforth from God to man:
begin and never cease!”

Download ‘The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album’ from Bandcamp:
http://music.theohhellos.com/album/the-oh-hellos-family-christmas-album

For more info on The Oh Hellos visit:
http://theohhellos.com/
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Genre: Folk, Rock, Pop, Acoustic, Christmas Carol

The band that exists for Christmas are back with some new music! Folk Angel, a four-piece group take traditional Christmas songs and for lack of a better term ‘folkify’ them. This version of the classic carol ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’ is from their latest release ‘All The Earth Rejoice’.

Purchase ‘All The Earth Rejoice’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-earth-rejoice-christmas/id765900983
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-earth-rejoice-christmas/id765900983

For more info on Folk Angel visit:
http://www.folkangel.com/
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Mississippi trio, Seeker & Servant, recently finished the recording process for their debut album, ‘Into Your Love, I Go’; and here at The Good Christian Music Blog we’re excited to announce that we will be hosting an exclusive stream of the album the week leading up to the record’s release date of January the 7th. For those of you with bad maths/calendar skills, that means that from the 31st of December you’ll be able to listen to ‘Into Your Love, I Go’ in it’s entirety! Also the guys from Seeker & Servant have kindly given us a couple CD’s plus a Vinyl to giveaway for free (but there’ll be more details about that nearer the release).

So far, Seeker & Servant have teased their fans with just one release, one remix and one acoustic video but since then the band have gone through a couple changes. This started with the addition of Kody Gautier, which then lead to an evolution in the band’s sound that sees them embracing electronic music production whilst building on their foundation of folk acoustic-pop. Whilst we wait to hear the end result, Seeker & Servant have left us with a short ‘making of’ documentary that explains their intention with the record whilst also teasing us with a few clips from the album.


Until the exclusive album stream on New Year’s Eve rolls around, you can pre-order the record from Seeker & Servant’s store: http://seekerandservant.storenvy.com/


Genre: Worship, Acoustic, Folk, Indie, Singer-Songwriter

The title track from his forthcoming record, ‘Anchor’ is John Tibb’s telling of leaving comfort and safety for God’s calling, comparing the experience to a ship setting sail to the unknown. The album ‘Anchor’ was funded by fans through Kickstarter and was in September this year. This is the Indianapolis worship leader’s third release, following on from his 2010 ‘Origins’ and his 2012 ‘Swallowing Death, Breathing Life’.

*Update

Due to featuring John Tibbs on the blog, a motion graphic/film-maker named Patrick Flynn got in touch with John saying that he’d like to work with him in future. As a result of this contact, John Tibbs has now released a lyric video for his song Abraham, check it out:

Until ‘Anchor’ is released, you can purchase John Tibb’s other music here:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/anchor-ep/id689032119
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/anchor-ep/id689032119

For more info on John Tibbs visit:
http://www.johntibbsmusic.com/

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Genre: Acoustic, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Hymn

Originally written in 1901 by Maltbie D. Babcock, ‘This Is My Father’s World’ has been rerecorded by the talented singer/songwriter Wilder Adkins. Wilder’s folksy guitar playing brings a beautiful gentleness to this tune, perfectly complimenting the lyrics. This track is part of a hymn album that Wilder released in 2011 titled Oak & Apple, links below.

Lyrics:
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears 
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. 
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought 
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; 
His hand the wonders wrought. 

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise, 
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise. 
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; 
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass; 
He speaks to me everywhere. 

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget 
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. 
This is my Father’s world, why should my heart be sad? 
The lord is King—let the heavens ring.
God reigns—let the earth be glad. 

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone. 
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known. 
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam 
Whate’er my lot, it matters not, 
My heart is still at home. 

This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done: 
Jesus who died shall be satisfied, 
And earth and Heav’n be one.

Purchase ‘Oak & Apple’ from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/oak-apple/id471450926
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/oak-apple/id471450926

Also find it on NoiseTrade
http://noisetrade.com/wilderadkins/oak-apple-a-lo-fi-hymnal

For more info on Wilder Adkins visit:
http://wilderadkins.bandcamp.com/

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Genre: Worship, Folk, Acoustic,

Describing themselves as ‘Neo-Gospel’ with 70s influences, The Followers formed out of the Door Of Hope Church in Portland, OR by Josh White (of Telecast and Pilgrim), Eric Earley and other members of the congregation. Taken from their second album ‘Wounded Healer’, this track is folk rock worship song that sings of Christ being our strength in our times of weakness and how His love refills us.

Buy Wounded Healer from iTunes:
United Kingdom:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wounded-healer/id522503289
United States of America:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wounded-healer/id522503289

For more info on The Followers visit:
http://deeper-well.com/artists/the-followers/

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